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4th Judicial District Adult Criminal Drug Court Program to Graduate 11 Participants

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Eleven participants will celebrate their graduation from the 4th Judicial District’s Adult Criminal Drug Court (ACDC) on Oct. 6, 2016.  This rigorous program combines judicial oversight with individualized treatment and intensive supervision.  The 4th Judicial District’s drug court was the second of its kind in Colorado and began in 2001.

“Today’s graduation celebrates the successes of this group of very dedicated Drug Court participants who have reached a milestone not only in their recovery but also in their lives,” said 4th Judicial District Court Magistrate Daphne Burlingame, who will preside over the graduation ceremony.  “This graduation reaffirms our community’s commitment to working together to help individuals successfully deal with their use of alcohol and drugs.”    

In light of the felony drug law changes effective July 2013, the program revamped its admissions criteria and program requirements to meet the needs of the high risk/high need offenders it serves.  This group of graduates is the first to complete the new requirements for the program of at least 2 years supervised probation, to include successfully completing their substance abuse treatment program, remaining substance free, maintaining employment and applying important life skills.  By completing community based treatment, many of them have earned the right to have their felony conviction converted to a misdemeanor.

 “The 4th Judicial District has dedicated a great deal of time and energy to our recovery courts because they work,” Magistrate Burlingame said.  “We are saving lives, and improving communities – all at a cost far less than what it would take to simply imprison those who commit non-violent acts as a result of addiction.” 

The National Institute of Justice’s Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE) found that: Drug court participants reported less drug use (56 percent versus 76 percent) and were less likely to test positive for drug use (29 percent versus 46 percent) than the comparison probationers. Participants also reported less criminal activity (40 percent versus 53 percent) and had fewer rearrests (52 percent versus 62 percent) than the comparison probationers.  Additional MADCE research found that drug courts produce an estimated $1.50 in benefits for every dollar in costs. (National Criminal Justice Reference Service,

Locally, the success of the ACDC participants has been overwhelming. A statewide search shows that out of 320 graduates of 4th Judicial District’s drug court since 2009, 75% have not received new criminal convictions. Through continued hard work by each of our participants and with the support of our entire community, we will continue to break the cycle of drugs and alcohol dependence.  By doing so, we will strengthen families and improve our community.

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.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 at 5:30 - 7 pm. 

WHERE: El Paso County District Combined Courts Terry R. Harris Building, 270 S. Tejon, Room W113, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

CALL: The media is invited to attend. The use of cameras must be approved in advance, and all persons being photographed must give their consent to be photographed. Please contact Robert Burrs at 719-452-5209, if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.


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