The state created the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (CJTA) in 2002 from dollars saved by not incarcerating those suffering from substance use disorders (SUD). Those dollars were placed into the CJTA to be used by counties to divert individuals from the criminal justice system who suffer from SUD and place them in programs such as drug court and other treatment and treatment support services.
In 2013, the state decided to sweep almost half of the CJTA dollars and has continued to do so since the recession. This has hampered the growth of these programs and services, which, in turn, means counties are serving and diverting fewer people than they could if they had access to the swept funds.
To exacerbate this issue even further, more and more counties are offering medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in county jails. While MAT in jails in an allowable use of the CJTA dollars, there is not enough to properly fund or implement the program in every county jail in addition to the continuation of well-established county drug court programs.
County budgets are maxed out, and the swept CJTA dollars are sorely needed. The state should stop sweeping the CJTA funds and allow counties to provide services to those most in need.