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Family Drug Court – Lea County

Lea County Family Reunification Court works with families in Lea County who are involved in the child welfare system to address the drug or alcohol addiction of the parents.

The children of these families are either currently in foster care or are placed outside their parents’ custody under a safety plan. Parents with a serious substance abuse issue may apply through their social worker to enroll in the Family Reunification Court to address their substance abuse issues and to move toward reunification with their children. Family Reunification Court includes intensive treatment for the participants, extensive random drug testing, weekly staffings to discuss each participant’s progress, and weekly hearings for the judge to directly address compliance or non-compliance with each participant and for the judge to issue immediate incentives for good progress or immediate sanctions for noncompliance.

The following requirements of Family Reunification Court are mandatory:

  • Family Reunification Court requires a one year commitment.
  • Random drug testing is done multiple times per week. Drug testing is done at Legacy Safety, 3130 N. Grimes St., Hobbs, NM 88240 or Art’s DOT & Safety Service, 518 S. 11th St., Lovington, NM 88260.
  • Participants go to treatment groups or individual counseling as many as 6 times each week. Treatment groups and individual counseling are conducted at the Guidance Center of Lea County, 920 W. Broadway, Hobbs, NM 88240.
  • Participants must attend a hearing each week with the presiding judge to discuss their progress each week. Weekly hearings are held at Hobbs Municipal Court, 301 N. Turner St., Hobbs, NM 88240.
  • Participants are required to attend two weekly outside meetings such as AA, NA, PDAP, Heart’s Desire, appropriate online support groups, etc.
  • Participants can receive incentives for compliance with the program.
    Participants will be sanctioned for non-compliance with the program including community service or incarceration (up to 14 days in jail for each instance of non-compliance).
  • Participants must have a job or be in school to graduate from Family Reunification Court.

The presiding Judge for Lea County Family Reunification Court is the Honorable Lee A. Kirksey. The Administrative Assistant for Lea County Family Reunification Court is Azucena (Susan) Hernandez.

You can reach Lea County Family Reunification Court at:

Lea County Family Reunification Court
100 N. Main, Box 6C
Lovington, NM 88260
Phone: 575-396-8571, ext. 130
Fax: 575-396-6949

From the National Association of Drug Court Professionals

For over two decades, Drug Courts have led the charge towards a more humane, cost effective justice system. Research demonstrates that Drug Courts provide a highly effective alternative to incarceration for individuals whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in serious addiction to drugs and alcohol. By keeping drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment Drug Courts have been proven to reduce drug abuse and crime while saving money.

The scientific community has put Drug Courts under a microscope and concluded that Drug Courts work. Better than jail or prison. Better than probation and treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy.

Drug Courts Reduce Crime

  • Nationwide, 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.
  • Rigorous studies examining long-term outcomes of individual Drug Courts have found that reductions in crime last at least 3 years and can endure for over 14 years.
  • The most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options.

Drug Courts Save Money

  • Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
  • When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested.
  • Drug Courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.
  • In 2007, for every Federal dollar invested in Drug Court, $9.00 was leveraged in state funding.

Drug Courts Ensure Compliance

  • Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely.
  • Drug Courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community-based supervision programs.
  • Drug Courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.

Drug Courts Combat Meth Addiction

  • For methamphetamine-addicted people, Drug Courts increase treatment program graduation rates by nearly 80%.
  • When compared to eight other programs, Drug Courts quadrupled the length of abstinence from methamphetamine.
  • Drug Courts reduce methamphetamine use by more than 50% compared to outpatient treatment alone.

Drug Courts Restore Families

  • Parents in Family Drug Court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.
  • Children of Family Drug Court participants spend significantly less time in out-of-home placements such as foster care.
  • Family re-unification rates are 50% higher for Family Drug Court participants.