The Van Buren County Drug and Family Treatment Court is celebrating five new graduates. On Friday, Judge Kathleen Brickley presided as the men were saluted for turning their lives around through the program. Treatment Court Case Manager Nehemiah Poffenberger tells WSJM News the court takes criminal offenders whose crimes were related to a substance abuse problem, and gets them help
“They’re drug tested randomly three of four times a week when they start out,” Poffenberger said. “They’re meeting with me and maybe a probation officer as part of their sentence. They have to go treatment, counselling and support group meetings. So, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.”
Poffenberger tells us treating such individuals is more effective and less costly than sending them to prison. All five graduates were unemployed when they began the Drug Treatment Court, and now, all five have jobs. Poffenberger tells us the program has been around since 2008.