Grayson County moved one step closer this week to having a teen drug court. County Commissioners approved a request to accept donations for the program.
Grayson County Department of Juvenile Services Assistant Chief Greg Sumpter told commissioners that plans are going well for the drug court’s proposed start date of October.
Sumpter also told commissioners that the first meeting of the advisory committee for the proposed court will be held Aug. 2, and that meeting will include members of the judiciary, the prosecutors, local law enforcement and others.
“We are excited to request the ability to receive some donations today,” he said. “Those donations came from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office, The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, the Sherman and the Denison police departments. Each gave what they could out of their seizure funds.”
The Grayson County District Attorney’s office put forth the idea to save some seizure money to be used as perks for teens who do well in the program, Sumpter said.
GCDA Brett Smith said he didn’t actually bring his check with him across the street, but he did introduce some folks who did bring money including Denison Police Department Spokesperson Mike Eppler, Sherman Police Department Spokesman Brett Mullens, and Grayson County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Sarah Bigham.
Smith said the agencies have pledged to give between $100 and $500 each to the new court for incentives for the youngsters who do well. He said those incentives might come in the form of gift cards to local eateries or entertainment venues.
Noting that he and another prosecutor had just come from a juvenile docket, Smith said there were three youths on that docket that clearly had a drug problem.
In previous statements, Sumpter has said that up to 12 teens could be in the program at any given time and that the program could take teens between six and nine months to complete. During that time, the teens would stay in their homes with their families rather than being moved to a treatment facility. The teens will meet with Judge Brian Gary and the rest of the court team twice a month.
Grayson County’s Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Lisa Tomlinson said the county is now one of only 11 such courts in the state.
Jerrie Whiteley is the Criminal Justice Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.