Superintendent Darrell Sorrells explained that the individuals would not be employed with the school district and they would not be on campus while school was in session.
They will be working with contracted services that work for us like cleaning services and things like that, Sorrells said. They will not have contact with students at all. Our custodial contractors will employ these individuals, not the school system.
The vote to allow program participants to work with the districts contracted services came after Judge Richard Sutton approached the school board on Aug. 2.
Over 80 percent of criminal cases are related to drugs, said Sutton. We started the drug intervention program for two reasons to reduce drug use and to get former users to return to a productive life.
Sutton assured members of the board that drug program participants would not be in contact with local student and would be drug tested randomly on a regular basis.
Board member Regina Roberts, who is familiar with the program, agreed with Sutton. These people will be drug tested. They will be watched and they will be watched closely.
Part of what makes the drug intervention program successful is the three-phase method used to treat non-violent drug users.
Among the many requirement of the program, participants are required to work 40 hours per week while in treatment and undergo intensive therapy three times a week.
Board member Rick Lundy also spoke highly of the program. Ive seen this program work successfully. It is an excellent program and I think it is a very positive thing.
Organized in February 2004, the program does not allow persons involved in manufacturing, trafficking or the distribution of drugs or with violent charges against them to take part.
To be eligible a participant must have a current drug related charge pending, have no previous record of violent felony, home burglary or trafficking, be at least 17 years old, a US citizen, speak fluent English and have a diagnosable substance abuse addiction.