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Drug court expansion delayed again

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia House has again delayed a bill that would expand the state's successful drug court program.

Wednesday marked the second time this week that the House Health Committee failed to vote on the proposal, requesting more study.

The proposal would allow the state Supreme Court to shift about $1.4 million in drug treatment programs to the budget of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

The shift would free up money to open five or six new drug courts. The court and DHHR both said the proposal would not require new money.

Drug courts currently operate in 16 of the 31 circuits in West Virginia. Costs for drug courts are less than a third of costs for imprisonment, and drug court participants have been shown to have very low recidivism rates.


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