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Man speaks out how drug court changed his life

Governor Nixon is pulling more than a billion dollars from the upcoming state budget, in an effort to balance it.

Because of this he is withholding $200,000 of increased funding for drug courts.

Trevor Robinson is the successful owner of Columbia Irepair in Columbia.

Each day he fixes phones and ipads that for many seem unfixable.

But two and a half years ago Robinson needed fixing of his own.

He was arrested for felony marijuana possession.

“I had a recommendation for a prison sentence. Instead they let me go through Drug Court and that’s all I needed,” said Robinson.

Drug Court is a system in which non-violent substance abusing offenders can receive help and supervision instead of prison time.

“I enrolled back in school, I had a high 3 something GPA, and started two businesses that have both done well,” said Robinson.

According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, drug court reduces crime as much as 45% more than other sentencing options.

Research shows it also saves taxpayers dollars.

The average cost to house an inmate for one year in Missouri is $22,000.

For drug court it’s $7,000.

While Robinson’s story may sound like a rehabilitation fairy tale, Robinson told ABC 17 News there are many other successful drug court graduates.

“I’m not the exception to it there are plenty of people like me- I now pay taxes, I have employees. I’m putting money into the system. If we cut this what’s going to happen to people like me?” said Robinson.

Robinson told ABC 17 News by investing in drug courts the state is actually spending less and getting more.

He adds by Governor Nixon withholding these funds, it could possibly end up putting more people in prison which like the numbers show, ends up costing the taxpayers more.

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