Suburban Drug Treatment Court Honors Graduates

Released On 11/01/2004

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and Fourth Municipal District Presiding Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon today announced that a Drug Treatment Court graduation ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 3, 2004, at 1:30 p.m. at the District Four court facility, 1500 Maybrook Drive, Maywood, Illinois, in courtroom 103. Judge Ponce de Leon, along with Drug Treatment Court Judge Judy Mitchell-Davis, will award certificates of completion and recovery medallions to eight (8) graduates. A brief reception with family and friends will follow.

Please note: Media are invited to attend. Drug Treatment Court graduates will be given the opportunity to speak about their experience in the Drug Treatment Court Program and how it has impacted their recovery.

Chief Judge Evans said, "The Circuit Court of Cook County’s Drug Treatment Courts are a viable, cost-effective alternative to reducing the pervasive use of alcohol and drugs in the criminal justice offender population."

Drug treatment court targets non-violent offenders whose involvement with the criminal justice system is due primarily to their substance addiction.

The drug court team that includes the drug court judge, state’s attorney, public defenders, Adult Probation officers or Social Service Department caseworkers, and substance abuse treatment representatives uses a coordinated strategy. Eligible offenders are identified early in the court process and upon being accepted into the program are referred for ongoing substance abuse treatment.

Drug treatment court participants are held accountable by frequent urinalysis, reporting to their probation officer or caseworker, and mandated frequent status hearings before the drug court judge.

The judge plays a critical role in Drug Treatment Court. She can sanction participants who fail to comply with program rules. Alternatively, the judge offers strong praise and encouragement to those offenders who progress successfully through the program.

As of November 3, 2004, there will be eighty-two (82) graduates from the Fourth Municipal District’s Drug Treatment Court since the program’s inception.

For more information contact: Susan Stanger, Adult Probation Department, Circuit Court of Cook County, 773.869.5127




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