The Mesquite Municipal Court recently received a grant for $8,400 from the State of Nevada Administrative Office of the Courts to support the municipal court’s Breaking the Cycle Program.
The intensive program, designed to promote public safety, reduce crime and assist nonviolent defendants break the cycle of crime and addiction, requires a one-year commitment from criminal defendants to complete treatment and other requirements to get and stay clean and sober.
“There is a cycle of people who are constantly entering and exiting the criminal justice system in this community,” said Ryan Toone, Mesquite Municipal Court Judge. “In many cases there are underlying drug or alcohol issues. While this program is demanding and won’t be for everyone, it provides an additional tool to help nonviolent defendants break the cycle, and become contributors, rather than detractors from the community.”
Program candidates are habitual criminals with an underlying alcohol or drug addiction. The Breaking the Cycle team—comprised of a drug court coordinator, the Mesquite city attorney, a public defender, a drug/alcohol counselor, court staff, and the municipal court judge—evaluates potential candidates that request to enter the program.
Below are the Breaking the Cycle program requirements:
- GPS monitoring
- Daily contact with the drug court coordinator
- Regular and random drug/alcohol testing
- Obtain a GED (high school equivalency)
- Seek and gain employment
- Regular drug counseling sessions
- Required attendance at frequent court sessions
- Stay out of trouble
“It costs the city approximately $85 per day to keep someone in the local correction facility,” Toone added. “This grant funded program is designed to increase defendant accountability and reduce crime while saving taxpayers’ dollars.”
If a defendant is accepted into the program and agrees to complete the requirements, the court suspends a minimum of six months in jail that can later be imposed by the court if the defendant fails to comply with program requirements. Participants who successfully complete the program will have their cases dismissed upon graduation from the program.
Breaking the Cycle team members received training through the National Drug Court Institute and from Henderson and Boulder City’s drug and alcohol specialty court programs.
The court invites interested community groups to contact the court if they wish to visit a Breaking the Cycle court session. For additional information contact the municipal court at (702)346-5291.