NORWICH – Monday was the annual ceremony recognizing the graduates of the Drug Treatment Court program at Chenango County Court. The program was originally started in February 2004, by Judge Howard Sullivan. Participants plead guilty and as part of their sentencing are required to complete drug treatment court. It lasts one year and requires them to maintain sober during that time, as well as participate in a variety of educational/rehabilitation programs, in order to combat their drug and alcohol addictions. There is family treatment court, which strives to reconnect parents with their children, and adult criminal treatment court (TC).
“If you deal with drug addictions and deal with your problems then criminal activity will (generally) stop,” said Jim Everard, Drug Treatment Coordinator, when explaining the links between drug/alcohol addiction and crime.
Since its inception there have been 244 referrals to adult felony TC for evaluation. Of those, 226 began the audition process and 148 have been contracted. In total, 118 people successfully graduated. 16 people were arrested for another felony.