Regional
5:32 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Budget Cuts Lead To Closure Of Drug Court

Alamogordo – A judge has suspended a juvenile drug court in southern New Mexico's Otero County.

State District Judge District Jerry Ritter Jr. cites budget cuts to courts statewide in suspending his juvenile drug court for an indefinite period.

Ritter says other drug courts in the county are not affected.

He sent a memo Friday saying there will be no court or counseling sessions or other juvenile drug court activities in Otero County until further notice.

Ritter says there's continued uncertainty about future court funding, so it's unlikely the juvenile drug court will resume operations this fiscal year.

The fiscal year runs through June 30.

Drug courts are designed as an alternative to jail by having offenders attend a treatment program, seek counseling and stay off drugs.

___

Information from: Alamogordo Daily News, http://www.alamogordonews.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.