Board honors Oakland County treatment courts

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During its Wednesday, May 2, meeting, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners honored county-wide treatment court programs and their participants by officially recognizing May as National Drug Court Month. Commissioner Philip J. Weipert (second from right) presented Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Mary Ellen Brennan (second from left), presiding judge of Juvenile Drug Court, with a proclamation commending the hard work and dedication of the many people involved in Oakland County’s treatment courts.  Also on hand for the presentation in the Board of Commissioners’ auditorium at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac were Oakland County Circuit Court Judges Hala Jarbou (left) and Shalina Kumar (right) of the Adult Treatment Court, and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Nanci Grant (not pictured) of the Veterans Treatment Court.

– Photo by John Meiu

At its Wednesday, May 2, meeting, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners honored county-wide treatment court programs and their participants by officially recognizing May as National Drug Court Month. Commissioner Philip J. Weipert spearheaded the effort, which has strong, bipartisan support among his colleagues.

He presented Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, presiding judge of Juvenile Drug Court, with a proclamation commending the hard work and dedication of the many people involved in Oakland County’s treatment courts and the widespread success of these critical programs. Judge Shalina Kumar, Judge Hala Jarbou, and Judge Nanci J. Grant, who preside over women in the Adult Treatment Court, men in the Adult Treatment Court, and the Veteran’s Treatment Court, respectively, were also in attendance.

“Drug courts work. They work because of the commitment and education of valuable members of drug court teams,” said Brennan. “In Oakland County, drug courts represent a promising, research-based approach to addressing substance abusing offenders. I have tremendous respect for the dedicated folks that do this work. Every day, they balance elements of treatment, sanction, incentive, accountability and compassion to motivate long-term change.”

The resolution and proclamation for Oakland County drug courts arise from the belief that every individual struggling with addiction or mental health issues deserves to be treated with dignity and provided the best possible opportunity to recover and build a healthy, productive life.

Treatment courts have been shown to significantly improve substance use disorder outcomes and to reduce addiction and related crime. They improve education, employment, housing and financial stability, which promotes family reunification and stronger, healthier communities.

Drug courts help to build community partnerships and bring together public safety and public healthcare professionals. They are now recognized as the most successful justice system intervention in the history of the United States, while still costing less than any other criminal justice strategy.

For additional information about drug courts or National Drug Court Month, visit the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) website at www.nadcp.org.  To learn more about the Board of Commissioners, visit their website at www.oakgov.com/boc.
 

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