In March of 2001 the 52-1 District Court implemented a docket designed to address the growing problem of repeat drunk drivers. This intensive probation program is based on a teamwork approach that involves not only members of our probation and judicial staff, but also attorneys, counselors, and other community members.
In November of 2013 another program was created based on the same framework as our Sobriety Court program. Due to the rising number of opiate overdoses and opiate related criminal offenses, the Court found a need to develop a program dedicated to helping those addicted to opiates. In 2013, a grant was obtained from the State of Michigan and this program was able to be started. In 2016, the program was expanded and retitled "Drug Court" due to the rising need to help those who were identified to be struggling with the growing epidemic of prescription pill abuse.
Drug Court is an 18 month intensive probationary program that participates willingly agree to participate in. During the first thirty days, the participants are required to enroll and complete a thirty day residential treatment program. While enrolled in treatment participants are able to start to develop skills that will aid them in maintaining their sobriety once they are released. Upon release, the participants are required to test daily for alcohol and drugs for at least 90 days; attend AA or a similar 12 step support group meeting daily for 90 days, and participate in counseling. This rigidity was implemented to adhere to the National Drug Court Program Guidelines and best practices. It was this strict set of rules that participates who graduated reported allowed them to focus on sobriety.
The ultimate goal of Drug Court mimics the 52-1 District Court's other specialty court, Sobriety Court, in that it is to end a defendant’s recidivistic criminal activity fueled by their dependence upon prescription pill abuse, illegal drugs, and/or alcohol. To achieve that goal, all individuals within the program are held to a standard of absolute responsibility including a curfew and random home checks. As offenders progress in the program, and as the judge responds to their behavior through a phased system of sanctions and rewards, the offenders become increasingly responsible for their own behavior.
The goal of Drug Court is to assist those in the struggle against addiction and help them make positive changes in their life. The agreement to participate is a good first step. Upon completion of the Drug Court Program, individuals will have a solid foundation to build on to maintain sobriety in a quality recovery program.
National Drug Court Proclamation
We are excited to announce Michael J. Gingell, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, Together with Philip J. Weipert and the entire Oakland County Board of Commissioners, have proclaimed May as National Drug Court Month. We at the 52nd District 1st Division Court are pleased to share with you the following announcement.
National Drug Court Month
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 was a great day for our court. We found out we were the FIRST team to be certified by SCAO for our Sobriety Court Program AND we received a Proclamation from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, organized by County Commissioner Phil Weipert for Drug Court Awareness month and the work that all of the Oakland County Courts do for the community through treatment courts. Yesterday, we found out that our Drug Court was also granted certification. I am so proud of this team! Our Sobriety Court Program started in 2001, after seeing the success of many graduates, the court implemented a Veterans Court Program in 2009 and in 2013 in response to the Opiate epidemic a Drug Court was executed as well.
Pictured from left to right: Chief Probation Officer Eric Noll, Specialty Court Intensive Officer Lauryn Ferro, Drug Court Officer Christina Mastrangelo, Sobriety Court Officer Jennifer Huettner, longtime graduate and Vice President of the Sobriety Court Promotions Inc (501c3) Kristen Quinn, Judge Travis Reeds, Oakland County Commissioner Phil Weipert, Court Administrator Alexandra Black