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Delta celebrates National Drug Court Month

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Photo by Kami Collins Pictured at the celebration of National Drug Court Month are (front row, left to right) Misty Schaefer, Lisa Tullio, Terry McCoige, Pam Bliss, Judge Sandra Miller, Lyn Taylor, Susan Blaine, Daniel Cano, Cassandra Haywood and Cameron

In celebration of National Drug Court Month, Drug Free Delta County and Delta County's Treatment Courts hosted an open house on Monday, May 8, in Judge Steven Schultz's courtroom. Drug Free Delta County is a nonprofit organization that works alongside Delta County's Treatment Courts, providing services to clients of both the Adult and Family Treatment Courts. Drug Free Delta County has a community outreach arm called REACH that works with clients with substance abuse issues that are not court-ordered. The highlight of the celebration was the graduations of Monette Clair and Brandon Clair from Family Treatment Court.

Delta County's Treatment Court graduations are a true celebration of recovery and the beginning of a new life. To quote a recent graduate, "Delta County's Drug Court gave me back my life. Even before I was using drugs I was lost. Through Drug Free Delta County's program, I have found my purpose. My relationships with friends and family have been renewed."

National Drug Court Month is coordinated on a nationwide level by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and locally through Drug Free Delta County. This celebration comes amid unprecedented interest in criminal justice reform as policy makers at the state and federal level are seeking solutions that reduce substance abuse, crime, and incarceration while saving lives and resources. No solution has been proven more effective than drug courts and other treatment courts.

Delta County's Treatment Courts represent a proven budget solution for our area. Through the efforts of Judge Steven Schultz, Judge Sandra Miller, probation, the child protection unit, tireless staff and board, and countless volunteers, our treatment courts are truly making a difference, from reducing drug use and recidivism, to reuniting families and making our community safer. These courts are saving lives, saving families and saving taxpayers' dollars. Drug Courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve and return as much as $27 for every $1 invested.

This May, Drug Courts throughout the country, of which there are 3,192, are demonstrating that a combination of accountability and compassion should be the foundation upon which our criminal justice system handles drug addicted individuals. By treating our chronically addicted offenders, we can save vast amounts of money, protect public safety and reduce drug abuse in our community.

For more information on Delta County's Treatment Courts, Drug Free Delta County and its community outreach arm, REACH, please call Lisa Tullio at 970-209-1740. If you would like to serve as a volunteer, feel free to contact Pam Bliss at 970-234-5631.

Photo by Kami Collins. After graduating from Delta County Drug Court, Brandon and Monette Clair were married by Judge Steven Schultz. Their friends and their daughter stood up with them, and after the ceremony, they were treated to a celebratory reception in the courtroom.
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