By JOSEPH MARTIN
ONE FEATHER STAFF
At the June 7 session of Tribal Council, an ordinance was introduced proposing to remove the section of Cherokee Code that established the drug court. Council will consider the issue at the Sept. 6 session.
The drug court was established in 2009 with the purpose of offering treatment to juvenile and adult offenders whose crimes are related to addiction. It also was intended to identify potential drug court participants and monitor them through drug and alcohol testing. Imposing sanctions or offering rewards when appropriate is also part of the court’s function.
The goal of the court was to encourage sobriety.
However, the ordinance submitted by Chief Justice Kirk Saunooke and Associate Judge Shannon Swimmer, argues that section should be repealed. The ordinance states, “To improve efficiency, effectiveness and community impact of the Cherokee Tribal Drug Court, Cherokee Code Chapter 7C should be repealed in its entirety to allow the continued existence of the Cherokee Tribal Drug Court pursuant to Cherokee Code Chapter 7 Section 7-1 (a) (which allows treatment to be offered to addicted offenders whose crimes are addiction related) as a specialized court under the judicial branch.”
Requests for comment made to Saunooke, Swimmer and Tribal Council Vice Chairman David Wolfe were not returned by press time.