Joanna Dales and William Schma

The Drug Treatment Court Foundation recently established an endowment fund at the Community Foundation to carry out DTCF's work in perpetuity.

The DTCF, which dissolved at the end of 2013, transferred its funds to the Community Foundation to create the Drug Treatment Court Fund. DTCF supported the work of the Drug Treatment Court in Kalamazoo County, which began in 1992 as one of only 12 in the country at that time.

The new fund will provide a permanent source of revenue for programs that give people the chance to repair their lives and choose treatment over incarceration, save taxpayers thousands of dollars annually, and return productive and healthy citizens back to society.

The fund may also support the Community Healing Centers-sponsored annual conference that educates interested citizens and professionals –– such as attorneys, social workers and educators –– about addiction issues. One of the continuing themes of the conference is reducing the stigma of drug abuse treatment.

According to retired judge William Schma, a founder and recent DTCF president, "The scope of the DTCF evolved over the past 10 years with community support that is unparalleled in any other community. We now need a larger platform to move forward, and the Community Foundation can best provide that."

The statistics tell the story, says Schma. "A year of drug court intervention costs less than $4,000, while a year of incarceration is more than $25,000. And this model works: 85 percent of all Drug Treatment Court graduates are successful and do not re-enter the court system."

Says Joanna Donnelly Dales, the Community Foundation's vice president for Donor Relations, "We're pleased to accept this fund, help it grow and administer it. This fund type guarantees these and future dollars will always go toward this purpose. In the future, should the county no longer require a drug court system, the funds would still be restricted to the treatment of substance abuse."

Click here to donate to the Drug Treatment Court Fund.