Shaun Floerke

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What if there was a way to identify which kids are most vulnerable to the siren songs of drugs and alcohol?

There are two things Shaun Floerke is very clear about.

The Sixth District judge, one of the newest members to the National Judicial Opiod Task Force, credits Duluth ("a lot of good people doing lots of good things") for his appointment - and he says the time has come to find solutions.

CHUM

"They don't usually like the court at first," admits Deb Holman, ruefully.

But an innovative collaboration between legal professionals and community support service providers (Holman is a Street Outreach Worker for CHUM) is helping to break the cycle of homelessness, chemical dependency, mental illness and crime.

Michael Coghlan/Flickr

St Louis County Judge Shaun Floerke thinks "treatment court" is much better description than "drug court."

Whatever you call it, it keeps the public safer, has a much better outcome for the drug offender and realizes a huge cost savings for everyone.

But can a new approach to drug crimes fly in the "land of 10,000 bootstraps," where if you're an addict, for instance, you need to "just stop it"?

Floerke says if punishment - or negative consequences cured addiction, there wouldn't be a problem.  But it doesn't -- and there is.