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Fourth Judicial District Drug Court to celebrate graduation

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Twelve participants in the intensive supervision and treatment program offered by the 4th Judicial District Drug Court are scheduled to graduate Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, marking their success on the 14th anniversary of the court’s establishment.

The problem-solving court, Colorado’s second drug court, called its first docket in January 2001. Since then, the program has served more than 1,300 people in El Paso and Teller counties.

“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 El Paso County Magistrate Daphne Burlingame, who presides over the court. “This graduation reaffirms our community’s commitment to working together to help individuals successfully deal with their use of alcohol and drugs.”

Such courts have proved effective in reducing substance abuse and increasing the likelihood that participants sentenced to the program will remain in recovery and reintegrate into their communities as productive and contributing members. At the same time, by serving as an alternative to incarceration for eligible nonviolent defendants, problem-solving courts can result in significant cost savings to the state.

The 4th Judicial District Drug Court operates through collaborative efforts by the 4th Judicial District’s Probation Department and courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, ComCor Inc., the Treatment Offices of Laura Fetters and Gregory Ortega, and the many Sober Living Homes throughout El Paso County.

Participants, whose eligibility for the program is determined by the collaborative Drug Court team, are intensively supervised as they complete required treatment and appear frequently before Magistrate Burlingame to discuss their progress.

The graduation ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2015, in the Jury Room (Room W113) of the El Paso Judicial Building, 270 S. Tejon, in Colorado Springs. Members of the news media may attend, but the use of still or video cameras must be approved in advance, and only those people who have given consent beforehand may be photographed or videotaped.

The 4th Judicial District Drug Court is one of nearly 80 problem-solving courts operating around the state. Colorado’s problem-solving courts include 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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