The province will be funding another drug treatment court in southern Alberta.

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer announced Tuesday that Medicine Hat will be one of five municipalities outside of Edmonton and Calgary to receive a share of $20-million over four years to expand the program.

Other communities previously announced include Lethbridge and Red Deer and two more locations have yet to be determined.

The 12-to-18 month drug treatment court program gives non-violent offenders access to judicially-supervised treatment and recovery with the goal of breaking the cycle of addiction-motivated crime.

Schweitzer says it’s a comprehensive strategy, adding “one of the reasons why we’re able to execute our drug treatment court plan across the province is the fact that we’re establishing these new treatment spaces in Alberta as well. We’re going to be working in collaboration with health, social services, this is truly a cross-ministry approach to help these individuals struggling with addictions.”

Drug treatment courts in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer are expected to be up and running by late 2021.

They’ve been operating in Edmonton and Calgary for about 15 years.