Pubdate: Mon, 20 May 2002
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Poughkeepsie Journal
Author: Cathryn Timbrouck
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)


I'm a social work student at Marist College, and I'm very supportive of the 
drug court program. I want to thank Judge Edward Feeney, Melissa Ortiquist 
and the Ulster County Drug Court. I attended the Community Education Forum 
on April 19 and felt it provided me with valuable information on our local 
drug court.

Through this alternatives-to-incarceration program, drug courts allow 
selected nonviolent people addicted to drugs and facing jail time to make a 
decision to change their lives. The drug court requires intensive treatment 
with integrated services, such as:

- -- Drug rehabilitation program.

- -- Mental health services.

- -- Community services.

The program requires the participant to comply with a conditional release 
instead of jail time. This allows individuals access to specialized 
services and treatment, promoting self-esteem and developing life skills to 
cope with their diagnosis.

I sat in my seat at the Community Education Forum and listened to one 
participant personally thank Judge Feeney for her success in the program. 
In response, Judge Feeney reminded the participant it was her choice that 
made the program successful. This affirmation of the individual supports 
their re-establishment of self-esteem and worth.

I'm hopeful other drug court models will take Judge Feeney's lead and 
develop similar programs in their counties too.

Cathryn Timbrouck

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