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Fourth Judicial District Recovery Court Program to graduate 15 participants

Monday, January 29, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fifteen participants are expected to celebrate their graduation from the 4th Judicial District’s Recovery Court Program during a 5 p.m. ceremony on Jan. 31, 2018. The 4th Judicial District’s drug court, combining judicial oversight with individualized treatment and intensive supervision, was the second of its kind in Colorado and began in 2001.

This year’s graduation combines the once autonomous Adult Criminal Drug Court (ACDC) and the Healthy Engaged and Living Sober (HEALS) Court, which were combined into one program with two tracks in 2017. The combined program allows for a more consistent set of sanctions and incentives, a joint graduation, and a cohesive team that tackles problems and shares resources in a unified manner centered on program efficacy and economy.

“Today’s graduation celebrates the successes of a group of very dedicated participants who have reached a milestone not only in their recovery but also in their lives,” said 4th Judicial District Court Magistrate Daphne Burlingame. “This graduation reaffirms our community’s commitment to working together to help individuals successfully leave drugs and crime behind and become contributing members to society. We are so proud of the hard work our graduates have endured to make it to this day.”    

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) 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, https://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/drug_courts/summary.html.)

Locally, the success of the Recovery Court participants has been overwhelming. In 2017, Recovery Court served 210 participants in treatment ranging from out-patient groups to in-patient facilities. In that same time frame, Recovery Court graduated 49 participants who completed community-based treatment and probation requirements, to include community service, regular court appearances, and paying off their fines and costs. Generally, 77 percent of Recovery Court participants successfully graduate the program. Our most recent recidivism study looking at both program tracks during a period of 6 years from Jan. 1, 2010, to June 30, 2016, shows that of ACDC participants, 75 percent of those graduates did not receive new charges in Colorado; in the HEALS Court track, 88 percent have not received any new charges in Colorado.

The graduation ceremony in Room W113 of the El Paso County Judicial Building will begin at 5 p.m. Jan 31, 2018. The use of cameras in the courtroom must be approved in advance, and all persons being photographed or video recorded must give their consent to be depicted. For more information, including on obtaining approval to use a camera, please contact Robert Burrs at 719-452-5209.

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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