McCaskill Honors 150th Jackson County Drug Court Class, Addresses Program She Founded 25 Years Ago as Prosecutor

After founding Jackson County’s Drug Court 25 years ago, Senator delivered remarks for 150th graduating class

 KANSAS CITY – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a former Jackson County Prosecutor, delivered remarks today honoring the Jackson County Drug Court’s 150th graduating class. The special ceremony marked the court’s 25th anniversary and was hosted by current Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

“I’ll never forget the faces of not only the graduates, but the police officers too, during one of my first drug court graduations—and the pride and sense of accomplishment they felt—that’s when I knew this was going to work,” McCaskill said. “In the 25 years and 150 graduations since, the Jackson County Drug Court continues to serve as a model for others around the state and country—and I’m proud to see such strong, bipartisan support from all levels of government to keep building on these successes to help those who need it most. Congratulations to all the graduates, their families, and all those who helped support their journey.”

McCaskill created one of the first drug courts in the country while serving as Jackson County Prosecutor in the early 1990s, which showed success in providing treatment rather than incarceration for people in recovery from addiction facing non-violent drug offenses. Continuing that work in the Senate, McCaskill in 2012 helped launch a veterans drug court in Jackson County.

Today, nearly 3,500 drug courts exist across the country, with 164 in Missouri. Jackson County’s drug court has had nearly 3,000 graduates since McCaskill started it 25 years ago.

McCaskill has been a strong advocate fighting for those who battle against addiction. Last year, she launched an investigation into opioid manufacturers—the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the crisis to date. As part of that investigation, McCaskill recently issued a report that showed 1.6 billion doses of opioids moved into Missouri between 2012 and 2017.