A $739,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will ensure the Bulloch County Drug Court continues as an alternative form of sentencing.
The Department of Justice announced several grants last week, going to agencies across the Southern District of Georgia all to ‘support law enforcement and public safety initiatives.’ Bulloch County’s Drug Court was established in July 2018 and expanded into the entire Ogeechee Judicial Circuit — Effingham, Jenkins, and Screven counties – shortly after that.
The Drug Court program’s goal is to ‘impact positively persons with mental illness and/or addictions by facilitating stabilization and promoting self-sufficiency through a combined effort of the Court and community resources.” The desired end result of the program is to reduce recidivism, which advocates say results in a safe community, and assist participants in becoming ‘independent, self-sufficient contributors to the welfare of our community.’ The program utilizes the public defender’s office, probation, the Sheriff’s Office, Pineland BHDD, and Gateway Behavioral Health services.
The Ogeechee Judicial Circuit’s program is a rolling admission, post adjudication, five-phase, 24-month treatment program for offenders experiencing substance use
disorders and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder
Currently, Drug Court and Mental Health Court are under the direction of Judge Michael Muldrew. You can read the full program proposal for the grant here.
The grant award from the DOJ totaled $739,172 and will run from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2026. Bulloch County Commissioners voted to formally accept the funds during the October 18 commission meeting.
Additional DOJ grants awarded include:
Office of Community-Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring Program:
- City of Swainsboro, $316,653
COPS School Violence Prevention Program:
- Lincoln County School District, $274,065
Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking:
- Tharros Place, Inc., Savannah, $750,000
BJA – STOP School Violence Prevention Program:
- New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc., Augusta, $333,333
BJA – The Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities:
- Liberty County, $120,000
BJA – The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program:
- City of Savannah, $126,177
- Augusta/Richmond County, $52,106
- Glynn County, $24,527
- Liberty County, $14,242
- City of Waycross, $10,022
BJA – Body-worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program:
- Liberty County, $53,940
- City of Thomson, $9,825
Additionally, the end-of-fiscal-year 2022 PSN grant to the Southern District of $100,665, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, will distribute funding to Savannah, Augusta, and Brunswick, the three most populous cities in the Southern District, in collaboration with local public safety agencies to help achieve reductions in violent crime, including gun homicides.