WILMINGTON — Clinton County Municipal Court Judge Mike Daugherty is taking a big step in helping save lives, helping the health department and saving taxpayers money — with one new program.
Throughout November in collaboration with the Clinton County Health Department, he will be hosting a special program that will allow individuals who owe outstanding fines in the court to satisfy those balances through a cash donation to the Health Department. The donations will be used to purchase a life-saving drug called Naloxone, also known as Narcan, which is used to revive individuals who overdose on heroin and other opiates and will be distributed to emergency service agencies in Clinton County.
Daugherty got the idea for this program after noticing the number of people who appeared in his court that had old fines still due. One case in particular involved a 25-year-old who lives out of state and had fines related to an old charge. The person wanted to find a way to clean up his record.
“When I took office I noticed there were many people who still had old fines.” said Daugherty. “They wear these things like weights and I don’t want people to be chased and hounded their whole lives because of old fines.”
Another reason for creating the month-long program was noticing the number of overdoses happening, and the budget given for the county for the drug. The problem is that it costs $30 per dose and the budget for Clinton County is $1,800, which could only cover 60 doses.
Daugherty described that as “a long weekend” for some heroin users. He recalled two cases in which EMS personnel had to administer 12 doses to a victim, and another needed 10.
“We want to see those agencies get the important supplies they need and not go broke,” said Daugherty.
With this program, people who wish to pay off all their fines, or make a dent in them, can make a donation to the Health Department. Every $1 donation they make will knock off $2 of their fines.
This is a way to not only save taxpayer money, but also help save lives, Daugherty said.
“We want to see them pay restitution to the victim and their debt to society and be free of those fines,” said Daugherty.
Anyone who wishes to help with the program or the health department can do so by simply donating to the Health Department.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574