Juvenile drug court coming to Grayson County

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 6:05 PM CDT
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A new program is underway in Grayson County aimed at helping teens get off drugs after they've been charged with a crime.

Officials at the Department of Juvenile Services are hoping to fight teen drug use with this new program.

"We see more and more drug use, and more so even with vaping now," Grayson County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Lisa Tomlinson.

Tomlinson said around 60 percent of the teenagers they see at the detention center have a drug issue in some capacity.

"It's still real prevalent, it's not going away," Tomlinson said.

Which is why they're saying it's time to face the problem.

Assistant Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Greg Sumpter said a lot of time and money is spent on housing at the center for many teens battling substance abuse.

"Which not only costs more, but in terms of helping young people do well in the community, it's harder when you're removing them from the community," Sumpter said.

And that's where juvenile drug court comes in.

Six to nine months where teen drug users charged with non-violent crimes, drug-related or not, get to live at home, get involved in the community and get treatment.

They'll meet with the judge and drug court team twice a month.

A maximum of 12 teens can go through the program at a time, and Sumpter said they have to be 14 to 17 years old and have a substance abuse disorder.

"And that they should be kind of at the higher end of the spectrum as far as their risks and their needs," Sumpter said.

Charges will stay on their record, but Sumpter says this way, the teens can be with their family, go to school and receive community support.

Commissioners approved the program last week, so now they'll get state funding.

Sumpter said Grayson is now one of 11 counties in Texas with a juvenile drug court.

"So the ultimate goal is to get kids what they need and help them to stay in the community," Sumpter said.

The plan is for the court to be running by October.

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