August 19, 2010
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a new recovery home for those nearing completion of the Will County Drug Court Program is being named in honor of one of the program’s first graduates, Miller Taylor.
In the decade since he successfully completed Will County Drug Court, Taylor, 67, has volunteered countless hours of his personal time each week mentoring others in the program who are battling their addictions.
The house in Joliet will be officially named “The Miller Taylor House.” A plaque that includes his name and likeness was recently placed at the entrance to the house. State’s Attorney Glasgow also presented Taylor with a plaque at Thursday’s Will County Board meeting.
Glasgow spearheaded the creation of the local Drug Court in the late 1990s. The specialized diversion court helps abusers who have committed non-violent criminal offenses break their addictions and return to their communities as productive citizens.
Taylor, who struggled for years with a cocaine addiction, was in the first group of participants to enter the program when it began in 1999. He also was one of the first to graduate the following year in 2000.
The program made a significant impact on Taylor, who returned to the weekly Drug Court sessions after his graduation. For years, he has run a 12-step meeting for participants in the hour before each Thursday afternoon Drug Court session. He also has served as a mentor, offering words of advice and support to everyone who has entered the program in the past 10 years.
State’s Attorney Glasgow and Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, who presides over Drug Court, both agreed Taylor is an inspiration to everyone working through the program. Naming the recovery home after Taylor was an appropriate way to acknowledge his success and honor his selfless dedication to those who are fighting their addictions.
In a letter to Taylor, Glasgow wrote: “After completing the program in our first graduating class back in 2000, you have continued to play an active role in welcoming new participants and mentoring them as they work through a process that can be extraordinarily difficult but life-changing. Everyone who has entered Drug Court has drawn strength from the 12-Step meetings you lead prior to court as well as from the words of encouragement and wisdom you offer throughout the process.”
The State’s Attorney added: “That is why your enduring support and mentorship has been so critical to the success of this program and the more than 200 people who have graduated from it over the past decade. My staff rightly refers to you as the ‘Grandfather of Drug Court’ because you have helped so many people change their lives.”
The recovery home will house five male participants who are near the completion of the program. A house manager also will live on site. Those who live there have completed counseling and treatment programs and have been clean for a minimum of six months. Their stay in the recovery home is the final step before they graduate and rejoin the community.
Residents are closely monitored and subject to random drug tests multiple times each week. Those who test positive for drug use will be removed from the home immediately.
No taxpayer funding was used to purchase the recovery home. The cost of the house, including renovation work, was covered through fees paid to the court by those who have been convicted of crimes in Will County.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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