PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Suburban Drug Treatment Court Honors Graduates

Released On 10/26/2004

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and Sixth Municipal District Presiding Judge Ronald C. Riley today announced that a Drug Treatment Court graduation ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, at 2:00 p.m. at the District Six court facility, 16501 Kedzie Parkway, Markham, Illinois, in the Jury Assembly Room, second level. Judge Riley, along with Drug Treatment Court Judges Honorable Thomas P. Panichi and Honorable Thomas O’Hara, 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.

A coordinated strategy is used by the drug court team which includes the drug court judge, state’s attorney, public defenders, Adult Probation officers or Social Service Department caseworkers, and substance abuse treatment representatives. 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. He or she can sanction participants who fail to comply with program rules. Alternatively, judges offer strong praise and encouragement to those offenders who progress successfully through the program.

As of May 19, 2004, there have been one hundred and twenty-four (124) graduates from the Sixth Municipal District’s Drug Treatment Court since the program’s inception.

For more information contact:

James J. Edwards, MS, LCPC

Social Service Department

Circuit Court of Cook County

773/869-6025

 

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