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Local News

Kendall County Drug Court program marks one-year anniversary

Feb. 3 marked the first anniversary of participants being admitted to the Kendall County Drug Court Program. After having received one of the first drug court certifications in the state of Illinois in late November 2016, Kendall County began accepting participants into a program modeled after national best practices.

The Kendall County Drug Court program provides an alternative to jail or prison time for offenders with substance abuse issues. The Drug Court program promotes public safety and is designed to be cost-effective by reducing the number of offenders going to prison.

Judge John McAdams, who presides over the program, said, “The combination of substance abuse treatment and intensive court supervision has led to the success of many of the current participants.”

All Drug Court participants are actively involved in substance abuse treatment. Participants receive residential treatment at Gateway Foundation and Intensive Outpatient and Aftercare treatment at the Kendall County Health Department. In addition, they submit to frequent drug testing, attend self-help meetings and meet with a sponsor in the community, while working their way through the minimum 14-month program.

With funding provided by Adult Redeploy Illinois and the Kendall County 708 Mental Health Board, the Kendall County Drug Court Program has 13 current participants and three individuals awaiting assessment. Of the 13 current participants, eight are in recovery from heroin as their drug of choice.

With nearly 1,200 drug tests and more than 2,000 hours of combined counseling, no participant has tested positive for heroin. In fact, the program has had less than 2 percent of all drug tests return a positive result in violation of program rules.

Program participants are now reaching one year of sobriety and have accepted responsibility, reconnected with family members, obtained jobs, given birth to drug-free babies, and earned trust that was all but lost. The Kendall County Drug Court Program is in the process of planning its first graduation for summer 2018.

Circuit Presiding Judge Timothy McCann said, “I am proud of the work that our community justice partners have done to make this program a reality. Although it is still early, the Kendall County Drug Court program has definitely demonstrated positive progress.”

The Kendall County Drug Court team includes the participants, Drug Court judge, Drug Court coordinator, Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office, Kendall County Public Defender’s Office, Kendall County Probation Department, Kendall County Health Department, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kendall County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

“The Kendall County Drug Court program would like to thank all of its community partners that helped to plan and organize and work to make sure this program was implemented and continues to be effective,” said a news release about the program.

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