Just two months into the fiscal year, funding for Arkansas drug court treatment programs has nearly run out, and the Legislature's chief advocate for the program wants an advisory panel to find additional funding, reports the Arkansas News Bureau. Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, said he may ask lawmakers in next year's fiscal session to replenish coffers of imperiled programs considered key to newly enacted reforms aimed at steering nonviolent drug offenders away from the state's chronically overcrowded prisons.
“They're pretty much broke,” Pritchard said of the treatment programs used by the state's 41 drug courts. The Legislature this year approved a bill appropriating $1.5 million from the state Department of Community Correction for the treatment programs. But the funding was a casualty of about $30 million in tax cuts also approved by lawmakers, Pritchard said.