ESCANABA – Whether or not Delta County should have a drug court was the major topic of discussion at last night’s public forum with the two candidates for Delta County District Judge.
Attorney John Economopoulos said incarceration would be a better deterent because many of the drug users are repeat offenders that have learned to game the system.
A drug court would be a separate track created in our court system here in Delta County which for the purpose of the District Court would not be a very practical solution for the types of crimes that the District Court handles,” Economopoulos said. “There’s a funding issue that the county would have to bear. The other problem as I see it is that it creates a social work aspect that the court may not be well suited for.”
Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks said it would help people with drug problems and be a way to combat other crimes that are a result of drug use.
“Don’t tell me we don’t have drug issues in our District Court. We do. All the time,” Parks said. “We can have someone arrested for retail fraud and they’ll have pills in their possession. Sometimes those are plead down to use for various reasons. Our traditional ways of handling these problems are not working. I’ve seen it for ten years. It’s been out there. Our judges just haven’t done it.”
Parks says drug use is the most important issue facing the courts. Economopoulos says it is repeat offenders that are causing the courts the most problems.
The position is an open seat. Delta County District Judge Glenn Pearson is not running for re-election.