A courtroom is not a place where you expect to find scenes of celebration and tears of joy - unless it’s drug court. During the month of May, more than 3,000 drug court programs nationwide have joined in celebrating National Drug Court Month
“These multidisciplinary teams offer offenders opportunities for success through treatment, education and training. Program participants must show a pattern of clean drug tests and have employment or be enrolled in educational programs” said Peter Beilenson, Director of the Department of Health Services. “To successfully graduate from the Drug Court Programs, participants must incorporate their new skills, provide any victim restitution and then may be allowed to withdraw their plea to have the case dismissed.”
This year alone, more than 150,000 individuals nationwide who entered the justice system due to substance use disorders will receive lifesaving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families and find long-term recovery. National Drug Court Month is a celebration of the lives restored by drug court, and it sends the powerful message that these programs must be expanded to reach more people in need.
Nearly 30 years ago, the first drug court opened its doors with a simple premise, rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at great expense to the public, use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful. Today, drug courts and other treatment courts have proven that a combination of accountability and compassion saves lives while also saving valuable resources and reducing exorbitant criminal justice costs.
There are thousands of individual stories that demonstrate why treatment courts are so critical in the effort to address addiction and related crime – and the scientific research agrees. Numerous studies have found that treatment courts reduce crime, drug use and save money. Research shows treatment courts also improve education, employment, housing, financial stability and family reunification, which reduces foster care placements.
Collaborative and Specialized Court Graduations
The Dependency Drug Court graduation ceremony will be hosted on July 30 at the Guild Theatre (2828 35th Street, Sacramento, CA). Judge Paul Seave will deliver the keynote address and the event will recognize individuals whose lives have been transformed by the treatment and support provided by the program. With their friends and families in attendance, this graduation will honor men and women who have completed an intensive program of comprehensive substance use disorder treatment, close supervision and accountability.
Collaborative and Specialized Court May 2019 Graduations:
• ReSET Court – May 17
• Veterans Treatment Court – May 17
• Reentry Court – May 23
• Mental Health Treatment Court – May 28 and May 29
• DUI Treatment Court – May 31
Along with Behavioral Health Services, the Drug Court Programs are a collaboration between Probation, District Attorney, Public Defender/defense attorney and the assigned courtroom judges, currently Judges Larry Brown and Paul Seave. The multi-phase program includes random and frequent drug tests, incentives for positive behavior, and graduated sanctions for drug use relapse or failure to meet minimum counseling session requirements.