Oakland Youth Graduate From Drug Treatment Court

Oakland County, MI (December 1, 2010) – The Oakland County Family Focused Juvenile Drug Court (JDC) announced today that 100 youth have successfully graduated from its program.  In conjunction with this milestone, the JDC will hold a graduation ceremony for three participants on Tuesday, November 30, at 7:00 p.m., in the Commissioners Auditorium at the Oakland County Courthouse, 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac. 

The ceremony acknowledges the successful completion by the graduates of a 12-15 month program of intensive treatment, frequent judicial supervision, and strict accountability and celebrates with them the freedom they now have to live a drug free life.  In addition, the JDC will honor Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick for his excellence as presiding judge of the drug court over the last nine years.  Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan has now become presiding judge and assumes Judge Sosnick’s responsibilities in the program.

Entitled OPTIONS – The Power to Choose, the Juvenile Drug Court program began in 2001 with five participants, and has served over 579 youth and their family members to date.  It is the mission of the Family Focused Juvenile Drug Court to promote public safety and reduce juvenile drug crime rates by helping substance abusing youthful offenders and their families achieve drug-free lives and healthy relationships.

Services include substance abuse and mental health treatment, family therapy, individual therapy for participants and family members, in-home therapy, transportation, employment assistance for participants and parents, personal enrichment activities, recreation opportunities, and other services as needed to assist families to succeed.

OPTIONS is a four-phase intervention program for repeat, non-violent, juvenile offenders who find it difficult to maintain sobriety.  The program’s key elements are: treating the entire family, very close judicial and community supervision, intense substance-abuse treatment, frequent substance abuse testing and a long-term commitment to program requirements.  Parent involvement is a key program component. 

“I am so proud of each of our graduates,” stated Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, Presiding Judge of the JDC.  “This program is difficult and challenging and lots of hard work.  These are young people who are committed to their sobriety.  They have certainly earned my respect.”

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