By: Robin Howell
Composition 1 MW 10:00-11:50
Word count= 1,005 (excluding cover page and title)
Drug Court taught me how to live
In the past, drug addicts who were convicted of drug related crimes were most commonly either sent to treatment or incarcerated. I have experienced both and did not benefit much from either one. In 2001 I was in a fairly new program called Drug Court. Drug Court is a unique and extraordinary program that gives addicts the tools they need to endure life without using drugs.
I was very nervous about this program because it was so different than anything else I had been through. I was always able to tell the treatment counselors or judges what they wanted to hear so that I could get back to my normal way of life: using. I was worried that I would not be able to get over this road block so easily.
Drug court consisted of a team of probation officers, drug treatment counselors, a defense attorney, a county attorney, and a judge. The entire team was specially trained in the area of drug addiction. This was a very tough team to contend with for the addict who just wanted to get it over and use again.
In the beginning, I had to ride the bus to the probation office Monday through Thursday to check in by 7:00 in the morning. I didn’t have to go on Fridays because that was the day I had to go to the courthouse and sit in front of the judge, the rest of the team, and most of the other participants in the program. It was held in the courtroom with the judge at the stand, the remainder of the team arranged in a semi circle around the “hot seat”, and the other participants in the benches. The jury box was reserved for those currently incarcerated.
During the big meeting on Fridays I would have to sit, in front of everyone, and answer questions about what was going on in every aspect of my life. All of the participants took their turn in the hot seat, even the ones who had...