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Grant helps cover transportation gaps for Dallas County drug court program

This article was published by the KERA News on May 16, 2024. Read the full article on KERA’s website. 

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has received a $12,500 grant to help provide transportation to participants in a drug court program.

The funds will go toward the Transportation Access for Youthful Offenders project, which helps individuals assigned to the AIM (Achieve Inspire Motivate) Drug Court get financial support for transportation to complete their service.

“People come into programs with different levels of commitment, and some are highly committed, and some are not,” Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot said. “What this does is removes a barrier, especially for those who may not be as committed as others.”

The AIM Drug Court is for first-time, non-violent felony offenders ages 17 to 24.

The District Attorney’s Office will give participants Uber and Lyft vouchers they can use to get to appointments. It eliminates the hassle of public transportation and travel costs that can discourage an individual from finishing the life changing program, Creuzot said.

“Anytime that you can help a person, you begin to remove the barriers and you start to change the attitudes,” he said. “And as those improve, you get better collaboration and cooperation out of them.”

The grant was first awarded in 2022 by the Texas Bar foundation to enhance public safety, increase AIM court participation and increase its completion rate.

The AIM program includes residential treatment, intensive outpatient therapeutic counseling and community service hours.

A study by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute found the program reduces re-arrests by about 75% for participants compared to those on probation.

“If we can remove the barriers to doing the things that are necessary for rehabilitation, we want to take every opportunity to do that and help them be successful,” Creuzot said.