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Drug court graduation held

One person has felony charges dropped by completing program

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 10:41 a.m. CDT
Caption
The Grundy County Drug Court team includes (left to right) Mitch Conwell, Case Manager; Jason Helland, State’s Attorney; Robert Marsaglia, Circuit Judge; Adam Sheikh, graduate; Kellie Kennedy, Grundy County Health Department; and J.D. Flood, Public Defender.

Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland announced that Grundy County Drug Court graduated one person who successfully completed the program and is now living a drug-free lifestyle.

A graduation ceremony was held on Thursday, March 14 at the Grundy County Courthouse. Felony charges were dropped as a result of successful completion of the program. Fifteen people have graduated from drug court since its inception in 2007.

Like the other 2,500 operational drug courts in the United States, the Grundy County Drug Court is a judicially-supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs and protects community safety. While in drug court individuals remain in treatment for long periods of time under close supervision.

Drug court participants must meet many obligations. In order to ensure compliance with the program, participants are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear weekly in court for the judge to review their progress, and are rewarded for doing well and sanctioned when not living up to their obligations.

Graduation is the final step in this intensive year-long process.

“Drug Court is an excellent sentencing alternative to incarceration of the offender. Although prosecutors need to be tough on crime, we must also be smart on crime,” said Helland.

Drug Court reduces recidivism and saves taxpayer money because it is cheaper to treat the non-violent offender than it is to incarcerate them. Drug courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve.

Go to grundyco.org and visit the State’s Attorney’s page for more information on drug court.

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