The Mesquite Municipal Court recently received a grant for $21,520 from the State of Nevada Administrative Office of the Courts to support the court’s Breaking the Cycle Program. This grant award reflects a significant increase in state support for the local program and will aid the court in making it available to new participants.
The intensive program is designed to promote public safety, reduce crime and assist nonviolent defendants break the cycle of crime and addiction. It 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 a proven tool to help nonviolent defendants break the cycle and become contributors rather than a drain on 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.
Breaking the Cycle program requirements include:
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
If a participant is accepted into the program and agrees to complete the requirements, the court suspends a minimum of six months in jail. Participants who successfully complete the program will have their cases dismissed upon graduation from the program.
Toone noted, “The assistance of community partners has been key to the success of the program. There are tremendous individuals and groups in this valley who have gone out of their way to help our participants once they have observed their commitment to making positive changes in their lives.”
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.