(Springfield) — The Sangamon County drug court recently celebrated its fourth year, graduating three participants and commending the successes of past graduates.
The October 24 celebration took place in the Springfield courthouse, drawing graduates’ families and friends, past graduates, and drug court staff.
The goal of the drug court, presided over by Circuit Judge Peter Cavanagh, is to reduce the cycle of arrests and incarcerations among participants via comprehensive clinical services provided by a team of partners.
Speakers at the graduation included Judge Cavanagh, drug court staff, and program graduates. In addition, Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL13) made a guest appearance, commending the drug court for its life-changing work and congratulating past and present graduates.
“Life is about second chances,” said Davis. “You [graduates] can achieve any dream you have. Believe in yourself and dream big.”
Since 2010, the Sangamon County drug court has held three graduations that celebrated the success of 12 graduates. None of the first 12 graduates had been re-arrested or tested positive for any illicit substances, according to a 2013 report of the county’s drug court implementation and program outcomes.
The Sangamon County drug court was created in October 2010 as a plan for more effective and coordinated programs and services for people with substance use disorders. It features communication and service linkages across criminal justice, mental health and addiction treatment, and community services.
Drug courts typically are built on collaboration among judges, prosecutors, and community-based drug treatment providers. Sangamon County’s program is distinct in that the team also includes a representative from the defense bar and a local mental health representative.
As part of the drug court team, TASC conducts clinical assessments of eligible participants and provides input on treatment progress and successful community reentry.
A cost-effective alternative to traditional court case processing and sentencing for eligible participants, the drug court seeks to improve public safety, reduce recidivism rates, reduce crime and substance use, and engage resources and service partners in the community.
The Sangamon County drug court has been funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance and, most recently, Adult Redeploy Illinois.