by Nicole Reitz
Twenty-two participants have successfully completed the Oswego County Drug Treatment Court — the largest graduating class since the program began in August of 1999.
“Tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better,” said Drug Court graduate Tracie Ormsby.
Drug Court is structured to give non-violent offenders with a history of substance abuse a second chance at life outside of prison.
Those who are accepted into the treatment court program receive intensive supervision and monitoring by the court and are also required to complete addiction treatment programs.
Those selected for the alternative to incarceration program are required to stay in drug court for a minimum of one year.
In the first four months, people in drug court are required to go to weekly court sessions. After those four months, they must appear in court every two weeks and so on. Some must make payments towards restitution.
Drug court members also need to complete 25 hours of community service. In order to get to graduation, participants must also have a significant amount of clean and sober time under their belt. In their speeches at Friday’s ceremony, several people mentioned their sobriety date.
Although these 22 people made it through the program, not everyone does.
Program administrator David Guyer said that the completion rate is between 50 and 55 percent, which is in line with the state and national average for drug court programs.
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