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13th Judicial District holding open house for new Sobriety Court

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FORT MORGAN, Colo. – The Morgan County Sobriety Court of the 13th Judicial District (Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma counties) invites the public to observe a court session at an Oct. 6, 2016, open house to introduce the community to the program.

The Sobriety Court, which was started in February 2016 and has space for up to 20 participants, provides an alternative sentencing approach for people with substance abuse or addiction who become involved in the criminal justice system. It is operated through collaboration among the court, probation, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and treatment providers.

The open house will begin with the 3 p.m. docket in Courtroom 3 at the Morgan County Judicial Center, 400 Warner Street, in Fort Morgan, followed by refreshments at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 4. Speakers will include Morgan County Judge Michael J. Schingle, who presides over Sobriety Court, and District Attorney Brittny Lewton.

The 13th Judicial District’s Sobriety Court, like other problem solving courts in Colorado and elsewhere, helps ensure community safety while providing an alternative to incarceration for people whose substance abuse or addiction affects their criminal behavior. If found to be eligible to participate, clients of the court volunteer to be held accountable through intensive court supervision, engagement in treatment and counseling and making regular court appearances to monitor their progress.

“Problem solving courts like our new Sobriety Court have proved an invaluable asset in reducing recidivism among their target populations while helping to address jail and prison overcrowding and budget limitations,” Judge Schingle said. “We are hopeful this new program will strengthen our community through careful monitoring of eligible offenders as they transition back into sobriety.”

Nearly 80 problem-solving courts are in operation around Colorado including adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect drug courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, veteran trauma courts, and truancy courts.

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