Treatment court graduates fifth class

NORWICH – Since January 2004, Chenango County has provided drug treatment court. Monday, its fifth and largest class yet celebrated their graduation at the county courthouse.

“You should truly be proud of what you’ve accomplished,” said Karen Ambrozik, project manager for the Office of Drug Treatment.

Treatment court is a post-conviction probationary element – a year of intense supervision for people who have a history of drug-related crimes.

“It is designed to stop the revolving door of criminal-associated activity brought on by drug and alcohol abuse,” Drug Court Coordinator James Everard said. “What makes treatment court break the cycle is it’s a whole year of very intense supervision,” said Everard. While participating in treatment court, individuals are subject to random phone calls by probation officials, random house checks by police officers, continued group meetings and much more. A violation of the rules of treatment court leads to a stern warning and if participants fail to achieve the appropriate level of compliance, they are made to repeat the court or are sent jail or prison. Every violation must be explained to the judge in open court. Many participants have families they support economically as well as emotionally. The members of treatment court program must also remain employed and even after completion of the program, they remain on probation for many years.

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