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Cass County Courthouse photo

PLATTSMOUTH – To get people off drugs and onto a positive path in life.

That’s the goal of drug courts, a nationally-validated program, and one that is starting in Cass County.

The county’s Board of Commissioners, which approved funding for this program last year, approved on Tuesday an agreement between the county and the state of Nebraska operating this program that will involve those found guilty of felony drug possession.

“We’ve been working on this for two years,” County Attorney Colin Palm told the board. “It’s to enhance public safety and to break the cycle of addiction.”

Those felons who go through this rigorous program, after a screening process, must follow certain stipulations such as being under the care of treatment providers, and meeting with their probation officer several times weekly. The meetings will include a home visit.

They will also appear each week before the judge who charged them with the felony to provide an update on their progress.

“They are supervised in intensive fashion,” Palm said.

They must also live in the county during this program that usually lasts 18 months to two years.

The county has contributed $10,500 towards the program for training purposes, but also money for gas vouchers to help cover traveling expenses to treatment facilities.

Sarpy County has established such a program that has been successful, Palm said.

“It helps them move in a more positive situation,” he said.

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