Retired judge stays focused on assisting young adults

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By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

It’s been nearly 5 years since Judge Edward Sosnick retired from the Oakland County Circuit Court.

Retirement, however, has been anything but for the longtime jurist who spent the better part of a decade presiding over the juvenile drug court program in Oakland County, a judicial assignment that became a “labor of love” for the ever-upbeat Sosnick.

Less than a month after retiring from the Circuit Court bench in early 2013, Sosnick accepted an assignment as president of The RESTORE Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 2008 to help supply funding for the treatment programs.

“As a judge, I have seen the undeniable connection between drug use and crime, and how it continues to pack our prisons as a result,” said Sosnick, who has helped The RESTORE Foundation raise upward of $300,000 for the drug court program over the past 9 years.

Sosnick, a past recipient of the “Champion of Justice Award” from the State Bar of Michigan, has “picked the brains” of fund-raising experts from across the state in an effort to support programs for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. 

As such, he has spearheaded a number of fund-raising events over the past 5 years, the latest of which is scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Somerset Inn, 2601 West Big Beaver Road, in Troy. 

The event is titled a “Motown Revue” and will feature The Stubbs Girls, a female quintet headlined by Thelma Stubbs-Mitchell, sister of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, along with four of his nieces. 

Tickets can be purchased at therestorefoundation.org/motown or at the door. 

Those unable to attend can make a tax deductible donation payable to The RESTORE Foundation, 1760 S. Telegraph Road, Suite 300, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302.

In a recent letter to supporters of RESTORE, Sosnick set the stage for a new chapter in the work of the organization.

“Growing up, my mother often used to say, ‘Little children, little problems. Bigger children, bigger problems,’” Sosnick wrote. “During my 28-year judicial career, I understood.

“As our kids grow older, their problems often escalate,” he noted. “We now know that young adults (ages 18-25) face problems unique to this age group. They are more underserved and at risk for depression, suicidal ideation, serious mental illness, and substance abuse/misuse, and addiction.”

According to Sosnick, “Parents, grandparents, and caregivers of these kids often lack the knowledge and understanding of these young adult choices, problems, and behaviors,” thereby perpetuating their troubles.

“The RESTORE Foundation and Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities (ACHC) have partnered to aggressively address the problems of young adults,” Sosnick said. “We have created a young adult drug prevention, treatment, and wellness network. This will include a social network based outreach giving a voice to their concerns.”

Sosnick said a young adult life skills training program has been established, offering topics such as grief and loss with addiction, emotional well-being, financial health and repairing relationships.

“We will provide step-by-step guides for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help them better understand in dealing with young adult issues and problems,” Sosnick said. “No longer will a grieving parent lament, ‘If only I had known . . .’”

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