FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Circuit Court honors graduates of Criminal Division Drug Treatment Court
Released On 05/23/2007
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and Criminal Division Presiding Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr. have announced that the Circuit Court will host a graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. at the Criminal Court Administration Building, 2650 S. California Avenue, 3rd Floor, for a group of felony probationers who have completed R.A.P. (Rehabilitation Alternative Probation), the Criminal Division's Drug Treatment Court Program.
The graduating class of approximately 26 graduates will bring the total program graduates to just over 500. There have been 16 graduations since the program began in 1997.
The RAP drug treatment court program operates as an alternative sentencing disposition that offers treatment and close supervision for certain high-risk substance abusing defendants. Eligible defendants are those already on probation for a nonviolent felony who have been charged with a new drug offense, resulting in violation of the conditions of their probation. Admittance into the RAP program requires the consent of the defendant, and completion of treatment becomes a condition of their new probation. Failure to complete the program results in prosecution of the violation of probation.
The RAP program is a rigorous 18 month regimen that includes individual and group counseling through community-based resources, frequent status hearings before the program judge, increased face-to-face meetings with a probation officer and mandatory drug testing. Assistance with educational needs, employment opportunities, vocational training and family counseling are also offered.
RAP graduates receive a certificate of achievement signed by Chief Judge Timothy Evans and presented by the Criminal Division drug court judge, Associate Judge Lawrence P. Fox. Graduates are always given the opportunity to speak about the way drug treatment court has affected their recovery.
The graduation is open to media. For details on gaining access to the Criminal Court Building, media should contact Susan Stanger, Program Coordinator, at 773.869.5127.