The Yakima County Superior Court was notified by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that Yakima County has been awarded a three year grant for a total amount of $973,515. The funding will be used to expand the present Yakima County Adult Drug Court program.

The grant application was developed by a team consisting of the Yakima County Superior Court, Yakima County Assessment and Referral Services, Comprehensive Mental Health, and Merit Resources Services.

Yakima County Drug Court started operation over twelve years ago.  The grant funding will allow Yakima County Drug Court to expand services.  The Drug Court has been a valuable service to the community in helping criminal offenders that have chemical dependency issues become stable and productive citizens.  This grant provides the opportunity for Yakima County’s Drug Court to serve a broader population to include individuals with a substance abuse disorder and a co-occurring mental illness. Because there was no mental health treatment service available within the Drug Court program, individuals with a substance abuse disorder and a co-occurring mental illness were frequently not accepted into the program.

This grant award comes at a particularly good time for Yakima County.  Presently, Yakima County is looking for alternatives to incarceration to reduce our jail population.  Drug Courts have proven to be an effective alternative to incarceration.