This month, Judge Molly Merrigan’s drug court in Kansas City, Missouri was named one of the best in the nation by the advocacy group Children and Family Futures. The Kansas City Star explains that “Merrigan’s court was one of the first to take the now-familiar drug court treatment model and adapt it to the wrenching context of child abuse and neglect. Substance abusing parents on the verge of losing their children because of complaints of abuse or neglect must complete a rigorous program of drug and alcohol treatment and frequent testing to assure Merrigan that she can safely reunite the parents with their kids.”
Judge Merrigan’s court is indeed a national model, but are so are several other drug courts in Missouri, the state with the highest number of methamphetamine lab incidents. Drug court participants in Missouri have only a 35% recidivism rate, far better than the control group rate of 50%.