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Eagle County Drug Court celebrates National Drug Court Month

Friday, May 5, 2017

EAGLE, Colo., May 2017 – In celebration of National Drug Court Month, the Eagle County Drug Court will hold a graduation ceremony on May 10, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. at the Eagle County Courthouse. Eagle County Judge Katherine Sullivan will preside and deliver a presentation on the Eagle County Drug Court program. The event comes as Congress is considering funding for drug courts and will serve as powerful evidence that drug courts are a life-saving budget solution.

This is Eagle County Drug Court’s 17th graduation since it was founded in 2013. Five men and women are expected to be among this year’s graduates. The ceremony marks their completion of an intensive program of comprehensive substance use treatment, close supervision, and full accountability. Treatment courts have proved to be an effective strategy to reduce recidivism among substance-addicted, nonviolent offenders with criminal histories. Eagle County Drug Court has a graduation rate of 70 percent, and since its inception in 2013, only one graduate has recidivated.

National Drug Court Month is coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). This year, treatment courts throughout the nation are advocating to ensure continued federal and state funding for these effective, evidence-based programs. Next week’s graduation ceremony is evidence of the positive effect the Eagle County Drug Court has had on our community and helps demonstrate that these programs reduce addiction, crime, and recidivism while saving lives, families, and valuable resources for our state.

“I am so proud of these clients and their hard work and dedication to completing this very difficult program. I have so much hope for them as they go forward with a crime-free, sober life,” Judge Sullivan said.

She said the Drug Court’s success is due in large part to collaboration among its stakeholders including Alpine Counseling and the Masonic Lodge in Eagle, which has provided a scholarship for Drug Court graduates to help them meet their goals.

Like other problem solving courts, the Eagle County Drug Court reduces correctional costs, enhances community safety, and improves public welfare. In these programs, seriously addicted individuals remain in treatment for long periods of time while under close supervision. Court participants must meet obligations to themselves, their families, and society.

To ensure accountability, clients are regularly and randomly tested for substance use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, rewarded for meeting goals, and sanctioned for not meeting clearly stated obligations.

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.

For further information, please contact Problem Solving Court Coordinator Lisa Morton at lisa.morton@judicial.state.co.us or 719-293-8111.

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