August 6, 2009
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that seven people who faced criminal charges stemming from their drug abuse have kicked their addictions and will graduate from the Will County Drug Court Program.
A graduation ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago St. The public is invited to attend.
The Will County Drug Court Program helps drug abusers who have committed non-violent offenses break their addictions. The graduation ceremony is the final step in an intensive year-long process. Defendants allowed into the program are carefully screened and must remain drug free, submit to random drug tests, find employment, follow through with treatment and attend weekly drug court sessions if they are to graduate.
At the Aug. 20 ceremony, graduates from Carol Stream, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Oak Forest, Plainfield and Waukegan will join more than 200 others who have graduated from Drug Court since the program’s inception in 2000.
Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, who presides over Drug Court, will introduce graduates individually and discuss how the program helped them clean up their lives. Will County Drug Court boasts a remarkable success rate. Ninety-two percent of those who have graduated from the local drug court have gone on to lead productive, drug-free lives.
“With the treatment and counseling services that Drug Court provides, non-violent offenders can kick the addictions that drove them to commit their crimes in the first place,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow, who spearheaded the program more than a decade ago. “By breaking the addictions that drove their criminal behavior, we are helping participants rejoin the community as productive citizens who hold jobs, further their educations, own homes, raise families and pay taxes.”
In 1997, Glasgow wrote a $30,000 planning grant application that was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Two years later, the Department of Justice awarded a $500,000 start-up grant for the program that was supplemented by a $50,000 state grant.
In drug court, prosecutors and defense attorneys work with the judge and treatment providers to help abusers kick their addictions. The program is a cost-effective alternative to dumping non-violent drug offenders into state prisons, where they cycle in and out of the system.
For more information on Drug Court, go to http://www.willcountysao.com and click on Crime Prevention.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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