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Eleven to graduate from Fourth Judicial District HEALS Court

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Eleven participants in the Fourth Judicial District’s Healthy Engaged and Living Sober (HEALS) Court will graduate from the intensive treatment and monitoring program in a ceremony Friday July 10, 2015.

The graduation, scheduled for 11 a.m. in the Jury Commissioner’s Room (W113) of the El Paso County Judicial Building, marks the court’s fifth anniversary, bringing the total number of graduates to 38.

Also during the ceremony, seven HEALS Court participants will be presented with Masters in the Art of Living Sober for maintaining an additional year of sobriety after graduation, not committing any new offenses, and being in full compliance with the terms and conditions of their probation. The HEALS Court has awarded 18 such degrees.

“It’s always a high point to see these committed people be celebrated for their huge accomplishments in the HEALS Court,” said presiding Magistrate Evelyn Hernandez-Sullivan. “It’s definitely not an easy program, but we know it’s getting results, both by allowing accountable participants to remain in the community and receive treatment, and also by saving the county and state costs of incarceration.”

A coalition of organizations and individuals established the HEALS Court in 2010 to enhance public safety by applying intensive court supervision and a regime of treatment and innovative support systems to substance-abusing offenders with the goal of returning sober, law-abiding citizens to the community. The program emphasizes the importance of stable family relationships and helps clients build healthy parenting skills, sound family dynamics and positive support systems.

Since its founding, the court has seen six groups of clients graduate and administered nearly 14,000 tests for use of controlled substances. Sixty-two clients are currently enrolled in the program.

Those involved with the HEALS Court include the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties) Probation Department, El Paso County District Attorney, Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, Alternative Defense Counsel, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Pointe, Set Clinic, Ecumenical Services, Catholic Charities, Care and Share, Women’s Resource Center, Phoenix Multi-Sport, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Salvation Army, Stout Street Foundation, Springs Rescue Mission, treatment provider Gregory M. Ortega and a courthouse volunteer.

For more information, please contact Fourth Judicial District Problem-Solving Court Coordinator Maria Malatino at 719-452- 5250 or anna.malatino@judicial.state.co.us.

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