The Ely Times
Drug court graduation commenced this past Monday where three women graduated.
Drug Court started in 2005 in White Pine County. There are about 3,300 drug courts in the United States.
Disrict Court Judge Gary Fairman presided over the graduation. It is a program that both Fairman and District Court Judge Steve Dobrescu are very passionate about.
Drug court is open to the public to attend each Monday at 3 p.m.
Fairman explained to the crowd how the program works. “Drug courts are therapy treatment courts. Long term rehabilitation programs for persons who are addicts who are involved in the criminal justice system. The most important thing about an individual who is in drug court is whether they want to change their behavior.”
When a person picks up criminal charges and they are before the court, drug court gives them a chance to change their behavior, in many cases they have the opportunity to have their criminal cases dismissed, there may be conditions of probation, but the end result is they have the ability to gain control of their lives.
“What’s happened in their lives is that drugs have controlled their lives, almost every case that’s come through the court has been whether it’s alcohol, opiods, people become addicted, they lose control of their lives, they start committing crimes.” Fairman said
Treatment is intense, the program is an 18-24 month program. Particlants test regularly, they have therapy and treatment, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling if needed. Some are required to go to AA, drug tested without notice. They have to have a job, curfews, there are alot of requirements because most people had no structure in their life.
Fairman said, “The only structure they had, was getting up in the morning and then figuring out if they had any drugs left, and if not, how to get the drugs, who to get them from and who was my next buy, and then how to get out of bed.”