New Direction

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Oakland County Adult Treatment Court (ATC) conducted its 36th graduation since its inception in August of 2001. The 145th through the 155th graduates were honored with a ceremony and reception held in the Oakland County Commissioners Auditorium at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac. Among those taking part in the ceremony were (front row, l-r) Tracy Blakemore, Michelle Tapner, Erin, Oakland County Circuit Court Judges Colleen O’Brien and Joan Young, Mark Moss, and Darry Williams; (back row) Nelson Wilson, Sheena McKibben, Ekaterina Koganova, and Derek St. Aubin. The ATC is a treatment driven court using alternative legal procedures for non-violent adult felony offenders with a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse or dependence. Judges Young and O’Brien preside over the male and female participants respectively and the team also includes a defense attorney, probation officer, program supervisor, and various treatment providers. The ATC recognizes that many offenders with substance use disorders also have co-morbid mental health problems. The court works with the offender to break the cycle of addiction, criminal activity, and jail/prison detention and stabilize mental health issues. At an earlier celebration this month, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners proclaimed October to be Drug Court Awareness Month.
Photo by John Meiu