Drug Court Essay

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Contact:News releases available
Charles B. Pelkieon State’s Attorney’s Web site
(815) 727-8789http://www.willcountysao.com
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)

June 15, 2010

‘ALL RISE’ in Will County Illinois
Julie McCabe-Sterr

When a court is not constrained by convention and dares to dream we ALL RISE. That is exactly what Will County Drug Court in Joliet, Illinois accomplished. Recognizing the need to keep clients close to their court and case managers, Will County staff set about saving funds, educating local leaders and convincing key government officials that a Drug Court recovery home was important for the ongoing success of the program.

When Drug Court staff convince local government that buying a recovery home is good for the community, we ALL RISE. When undeterred by negative reaction from the community, Drug Court holds community forums to educate the neighborhood about Drug Court, moves forward through a public zoning hearing, and obtains approval for a recovery home, we ALL RISE!

Will County Drug Court started in 1999. One of the first three graduates of the program, “the grandfather of Drug Court,” continues to attend court on a weekly basis. He leads a meeting for both inmates and those out of custody prior to court beginning. Our judge comes off the bench after each new contract, shakes hands with the new Drug Court member and “our grandfather” Miller Taylor stands, and asks the judge if he can give the new member a hug, and we ALL RISE.

When the State’s Attorney, James Glasgow – the person who started our Drug Court – suggests that the recovery home be named after that Drug Court client and the “Miller Taylor House” is named, we ALL RISE.

For graduations, Drug Court is allowed to use the County Board room instead of a courtroom. Graduates sit in the elected officials’ seats, and in an emotional, inspiring ceremony come forward to hear their stories...
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