Whitman County District Court has received a grant from the State of Washington to expand its Therapeutic Court services.
Judge John Hart, Judicial Services Director Marlynn Markley and Director of Probation Services Dan Bassler announced the additional funding this week. The program recently received over a 100,000 dollars to pay for a fulltime counselor/director and nearly a quarter million dollars to fund Therapeutic Court. Whitman County District Court has now received over a half a million dollars in state grant funds for the program.
Judge Hart’s Therapeutic Court was launched at the start of the year. The program is designed to address low-level nonviolent offenders with drug addictions or mental health issues. The court is an alternative to the traditional probation model. The program runs up to two years and requires offenders to attend court at least twice a month, receive counseling and in some cases vocational training. Offenders who complete the program can have their charges dismissed but they are still required to pay restitution. Judge Hart says Therapeutic Court, when appropriate, is recognized as a better way to rehabilitate offenders with drug addiction and mental health issues.
Whitman County District Court is the lower court that handles most misdemeanors locally in Washington.