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For immediate release: March 14, 2006
For further information contact:
Renita McKinney: 973-247-8651 - Kathryn Pierce: 973-247-8337

Passaic County Drug Court to Hold Graduation

14 participants of the Passaic County Drug Court program will graduate on Tuesday, Mar. 21, at 12 p.m. in Room 220 of the Passaic County Courthouse, 401 Grand Street, Paterson. Judge George F. Rohde Jr., who currently oversees drug court cases in Passaic County, will preside over the event.

Dory Rachel, a community relations representative for Sunrise House, a 28-day residential treatment facility in Lafayette, NJ, will give the keynote address. In addition, members of Paterson's Academy of Performing Arts will perform a musical selection.

The Drug Court program is a highly specialized team process that functions within the Superior Court structure to address non-violent drug-related cases. Participants enter the program in lieu of prison time and are involved in rigorous specialized treatment. The program encourages personal accountability, education, full-time employment and involvement with self-help organizations. Drug Court has been in existence in Passaic County since 1997 and has graduated more than 100 participants since its inception.

"The Drug Court slogan is Drug Courts Work, and they do; Participants learn life-long lessons and I have seen, personally, the wonderful success that can be achieved by our participants," stated Judge Rohde.

Drug Courts operate in every vicinage in New Jersey and currently serve 1,850 people statewide. Since the program's inception, offenders have found employment and begun meeting their financial obligations, parents have regained custody of their children, and dozens of drug-free babies have been born to participants around the state. Drug courts have proven effective at breaking the cycle of drug abuse and crime, giving drug addicts the opportunity to become productive citizens. They are a cost-effective alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders, and they help reduce minority over-representation in prison.

For information regarding seating, please contact Passaic Drug Court Coordinator Adrien Byrd at 973-247-8343

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