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For immediate release: May 4, 2005
For further information: Winnie Comfort
Tammy Kendig
609-292-9580

May is National Drug Court Month

In celebration of National Drug Court Month, Drug Courts around the state will hold a variety of events to honor Drug Court graduates and those who have helped them break their addictions, today announced Philip S. Carchman, J.A.D, acting administrative director of the Courts.

"Drug Court is a proven and cost-effective approach to breaking the cycle of drug addiction and crime. Now, during Drug Court Month, we are celebrating each success and inviting anyone who wants to learn more about the Drug Court program to attend a graduation or open house," said Judge Carchman.

First introduced in New Jersey in 1996, Drug Courts have proven successful in stopping the cycle of drug abuse and crime. Since their introduction, Drug Courts in New Jersey have helped more than 4,000 people confront their addictions to drugs or alcohol and choose a path toward a more productive life.

"Drug Court is difficult, but the effort is worth the enormous reward," said Judge Carchman. "Drug Court can change a life, but only if a defendant is willing to make that change," he added.

Drug Courts offer obvious societal benefits, including the cost savings of treatment versus incarceration and the ability of offenders to remain with their families during most of their recovery. In addition, Drug Courts help address the problem of minority overrepresentation in prison; currently, 69 percent of the drug court population comprises minority groups. New Jersey is the second state in the nation (after Delaware) to have a statewide Drug Court program.

Below is a list of Drug Court events that are being held this month. For more information on New Jersey's Drug Courts go to njcourtsonline.com.

All Month Passaic County Drug Court will have open house every Tuesday to enable lawmakers, law enforcement, treatment providers, and others to observe Drug Court in operation. Call Adrien Byrd at 973-247-8343 for more information.

All Month Atlantic County and Cape May County Drug Courts will host a series of seminars for Drug Court participants on building or repairing credit, preventing HIV/AIDS, and learning about services offered to children through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization. Contact Celeste Watson-Goodson at 609-909-8113 for more information.

May 4
Mercer County Drug Court will hold a graduation and commencement ceremony for 14 drug court participants. Call Jennifer Horner at 609-571-4067 for more information.

May 23
Sussex County Drug Court will hold a commencement ceremony. Call Charles Johnson at 973-656-4197 for more information.

May 23
Camden County Drug Court will hold a commencement and graduation ceremony. Call Scott Decicco at 856-379-2200 x 3358.

May 25
Mercer County Drug Court will hold an Open House from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for treatment providers and community leaders. Call Jennifer Horner at 609-571-4067 for more information.

May 26
Morris County Drug Court will hold a commencement and graduation ceremony for 8 drug court participants. Call Charles Johnson at 973-656-4197 for more information.

June 13
Monmouth County Drug Court will hold a commencement ceremony. Call Adri Lieb at 732-677-4551 for more information.

June 20
Ocean County Drug Court will hold a commencement and graduation ceremony for 10 participants. Call Carole Martin at 732-929-2125 for details.

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