“Our drug courts are invaluable,” Presiding Judge Tim Gerking says.
Judge Gerking says having the county supervise the region’s drug courts was the best move to secure nearly 2-million dollars in grant funding.
“We thought that our position would be stronger if it was, if the money was being administered by the county,” the judge says.
The change comes as OnTrack deals with lawsuits from former employees and clients, as well as scathing reviews from state agencies threatening to shutter some of it’s programs.
“OnTrack is going through some transitions, and there’s been some turmoil associated with that,” Gerking continues, “and we just felt that from the standpoint of stabilizing our drug court program we wanted to use the county in this instance.”
That’s not the only change. While OnTrack may continue to serve clients from adult drug court and the recovery opportunity court, Addictions Recovery Center will act as the primary treatment provider for community family court come July 1st.
In a statement to NBC5 News, ARC CEO Christine Mason, says in part, “We have been working closely with the family court team for several months, and anticipate a smooth transition for those needing care.”
If or when the county will receive the grant funding, is still up in the air as lawmakers grapple with a $1.4 billion dollar budget shortfall. But one thing is certain, any funding awarded by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission won’t be going directly to OnTrack.
If the grant funding is approved, the county will disperse the money between the three drug and family courts in the county and the agencies serving the clients. OnTrack could not be immediately reached for comment.