From James P. Harkins, Jr., 48th District Court Administrator:
In response to your editorial (“More drug courts in Oakland,” May 23) suggesting that the 48th District Court should consider implementing a drug court program, you and your readers would be pleased to know that the 48th District Court has maintained treatment programs for over a decade. Your editorial was misguided and in error.
We take drug and alcohol addiction and community safety seriously. The 48th District Court offers aggressive and comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment programs and does not seek funding from taxpayers through federal or state tax dollars. Through the work of our dedicated staff, probation officers and judges, the court offers a variety of treatment to those who qualify. The protocol of the programs are often more stringent than most other treatment courts.
Our success rate is measured by evaluations made by the defendants and providers. If we measured our success by defendant letters alone, it would be fair to say our program is outstanding, without costing our taxpayers unnecessary expense. In addition to our treatment programs, our judges are proactive in educating our kids about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse by reaching out to schools, events, forums and coalitions.
We are proud of the treatment successes that defendants have achieved at the 48th District Court and we invite you to contact the court to learn more about our programs. The perils of drug and alcohol addition are too serious to misinform your readers with an editorial that did not seek input from the court.