- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Budget concerns have led officials in western Iowa to announce a plan to shut down the region’s drug court.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports (http://bit.ly/1O8sxKZ ) that Fourth Judicial District drug court will shut down on Oct. 1.

Drug court started in January 2000. It offers people who are convicted of drug felonies a chance to complete a rehabilitation program instead of going to jail. If they are successful, the charges can be wiped from their records.

District director Kip Shanks says there are about 40 offenders in the program, which is no longer accepting applications.

Shanks says the program cost $250,000 a year to run, but funds allocated to his department for 2016 did not cover both drug court costs and employee raises.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

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