Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court to Hold Graduation Ceremony on December 12

Participants in the Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court will be recognized in a graduation ceremony that will feature Major Odetta Johnson, of the city of Richmond Police Department, as the keynote speaker. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 West Graham Road. The graduation ceremony will mark the completion of an intensive 18-month outpatient program of drug treatment, probation supervision, judicial monitoring and community service for the 11 Adult Drug Court graduates.

 As one of 29 drug courts in Virginia, the Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court monitors non-violent drug-addicted offenders with pending cases in Richmond’s Circuit Court. Volunteer participants must meet all program requirements, which include maintaining gainful employment and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and crime, to successfully complete the program. They are also required to attend regular Circuit Court Adult Drug Court hearings, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and group and individual counseling sessions with licensed substance abuse clinicians. In addition, they must perform community service for the city of Richmond. Compliance with these drug court requirements is rewarded with incentives and non-compliance is addressed with sanctions that include incarceration. This integration of court, probation, and treatment services leads to higher retention rates in treatment, and lower crime and drug use rates following program completion.  

 Unlike the majority of drug court participants in Virginia and the nation, Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court participants enter the program with long-term drug addictions to cocaine or heroin, and lengthy non-violent criminal histories. Moreover, over 98% of the participants are probation violators, and do not receive a reduced or dismissed charge upon graduation – a standard practice among most drug courts. However, the program has been effective in reducing drug use and crime, and is more cost-effective than incarceration due to low recidivism. Drug court participants also pay taxes and child support, and save taxpayers the costs of re-entry into the criminal justice system.

The ceremony recognizing the December 2012 graduates, and the reception following the ceremony, are open to the public. If you would like additional information, please contact Tanisha Moseley at (804) 646-3655.