Drug court graduation Oct. 21
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 10/22/2016, 12:20 p.m.
The Richmond Adult Drug Court will celebrate 11 new graduates 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at a public ceremony at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 Graham Road, it has been announced.
The ceremony will mark the graduates’ completion of an intensive 18-month outpatient program of drug treatment, probation, community service and judicial monitoring.
DeVon Simons, the statewide re-entry coordinator for the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony.
Dating to 1989, drug courts are a judicial program aimed at helping nonviolent, drug addicts with pending cases stay out of jail.
Data indicates only about two in five of those who enter the program complete it successfully because of its requirements, which include holding a job and abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
The participants often are longtime addicts who previously have spent time behind bars for probation violations or new charges.
Reviews of drug courts say such programs can be more successful than other efforts. Studies indicate that only one in four participants, or 25 percent, end up back in jail after completing the program, while four of five addicts, or 80 percent, return to using drugs after release from jail or prison without such a program.