Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Richmond Adult Drug Court to Hold July Graduation

The Circuit Court of Richmond’s Adult Drug Court will hold a graduation ceremony for five Adult Drug Court graduates on Friday, July 31, at 1 p.m., at the Richmond Police Academy, 1202 Graham Road. David Hicks, City Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor will be the guest speaker.

The ceremony and reception to follow, which is open to the public, marks the completion of an intensive 18-month outpatient program of drug treatment, probation supervision, judicial monitoring, and community service for participants in the Adult Drug Court.

One of 1,500 drug courts operating in the United States and one of 26 drug courts in Virginia, the Richmond Adult Drug Court monitors non-violent drug-addicted offenders with pending cases in Richmond’s Circuit Court. Offenders volunteer for the program, and participate only after approval of the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney. Participants must meet all program requirements to graduate, including maintaining gainful employment, abstinence from drugs, alcohol and crime, attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings and counseling sessions, and performing community service for the City of Richmond.

Unlike the majority of drug court programs in Virginia and the nation, Richmond’s Adult Drug Court program is designed for individuals who have long-term drug addictions to cocaine or heroin, and those with lengthy non-violent criminal histories. More than 98% of the program’s participants are probation violators, and do not receive a reduced or dismissed charge upon graduation – a standard practice among most drug courts. The Richmond 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.

Contact: Tanisha Moseley, (804) 646-3655