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The Southeast Nebraska Adult Drug Court is set to expand to five more counties starting Tuesday.

The problem-solving court already exists in Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline and Thayer counties.

The remaining counties in the First Judicial District — Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee and Richardson counties — now will be served, too.

Judge Julie D. Smith will serve as presiding judge of the court, which will be in Auburn.

Judge Vicky Johnson will remain the presiding judge over the other five counties.

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Problem-solving courts are an alternate route through the criminal justice system for nonviolent, drug-related offenders. Nebraska adult drug courts use a specialized team process that functions within the existing court structure.

Adult drug courts are designed to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance use among individuals with substance-use disorders.

The Southeast Problem-Solving Court is the newest addition to the statewide system of problem-solving courts and the first to be approved under the expansion funds made available through the Nebraska Legislature.

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