Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court celebrates a decade of success
In celebration of its success and National Drug Court Month, Senior Judge Frank T. Hazel and District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland host open house for the public
Media, PA – In celebration of National Drug Court Month, an open house highlighting the inner workings of Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 4:30 p.m., in the Honorable John V. Diggins Ceremonial Courtroom One, at the Delaware County Courthouse located at 201 W. Front Street in Media. The open house is hosted by the Honorable Senior Judge Frank T. Hazel of the Court of Common Pleas and Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland.
As Delaware County’s first ever open house for Drug Treatment Court, this event will provide the public with an opportunity to experience this problem-solving court firsthand. Drug Treatment Court, which was founded in 2008, is an intensive drug treatment program that allows offenders to address substance addiction while under the strict supervision of the Office of Adult Probation and Parole and the Treatment Court Judge, the Honorable Frank T. Hazel. Treatment Court is a thirty-month program for non-violent offenders with a drug addiction who have entered the criminal justice system. Currently, 104 individuals are enrolled in the program, which offers comprehensive substance use disorder treatment, co-occurring mental health treatment, along with close supervision and accountability to support the participants in their recovery.
Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court has been in operation since 2008. Since that time, 217 individuals have graduated over the course of 21 graduation ceremonies; 86% of those graduates have remained arrest-free. Over a decade, 24 babies have been born drug-free as a result.
“In 2008, the District Attorney’s Office began the Treatment Court Program in partnership with the Office of Adult Probation and Parole Services, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of Behavioral Health, Crozer Community Hospital, along with the guidance and oversight of our Court of Common Pleas Bench. We are in our 10th year of offering Treatment Court as an alternative disposition to criminal justice-involved Delaware County residents. Our continued efforts as prosecutors to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth and protect the citizens of Delaware County include helping those whose crimes are rooted in drug use due to their addiction. The Delaware County Drug Treatment Court Open House will showcase a snapshot of the tremendous impact Drug Treatment Court has had on our community and will send a powerful message that these programs reduce addiction, crime, and recidivism while saving lives, families and valuable resources for our county,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland.
According to studies, treatment courts are the most effective strategy to reduce drug use and recidivism among substance-addicted, nonviolent offenders with criminal histories. This May, drug courts throughout Pennsylvania will join more than 3,000 such programs nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. In 2018 alone, more than 150,000 individuals nationwide who entered the justice system due to addiction will receive life-saving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families and find long-term recovery. National Drug Court month is not only a celebration of lives restored, it also sends a powerful message that these programs must be expanded to reach more people in need. This year, treatment courts throughout the nation are advocating to ensure continued federal and state funding for these effective, evidence-based programs.
Nearly 30 years ago, the first drug court opened its doors with a simple premise: rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at great expense to the public, use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful. In April of 1998, Delaware County was on the forefront in the region and implemented the Prison Drug and Alcohol Program as a treatment alternative to incarceration. Today, drug courts and other treatment courts have proven that a combination of accountability and compassion can not only save lives but save valuable resources and reduce exorbitant criminal justice costs.
For more information about Drug Treatment Court, visit www.delcoda.com/information/treatment-courts.
COUNTY OF DELAWARE
COURTHOUSE & GOVERNMENT CENTER BUILDING
201 W. FRONT STREET | MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 21, 2018
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4943