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Six graduate from Problem Solving Court

December 15, 2018

La PORTE — After years of hard work and staying out of trouble, six La Porte County residents have now completed their transition from drug offender to Problem Solving Court graduate.

Problem solving courts were developed in the 1990s as a re-imagination of the judicial system’s approach to pervasive societal problems, like drug addiction. This method handles individual offenders and rehabilitates their specific problems more effectively than traditional incarceration, proponents argue.

Judges are hands-on in this process. They are able to provide guidance in hopes of changing the offenders’ criminal behaviors for good.

Officials say the program cuts crime and saves major tax dollars that would be earmarked for filling a cell and sustaining an inmate. According to information that was made available at the event, about 75 percent of Problem Solving Court graduates never get arrested again.

La Porte County celebrated six new Problem Solving Court graduates last week.

The ceremony was held in the Commissioners’ meeting room in the La Porte County Complex Building.

Presentations were given by those who participated in some aspect of the program, as well as by other special guest speakers from the La Porte community.

Judge Greta Friedman introduced each graduate individually and spoke of their progress.

Having built a strong relationship with each graduate from her participation in their rehabilitation, she put into perspective how far each of them had progressed in their two years in the program.

Each graduate was given the opportunity to speak about their experience in the program. All six utilized their time for thanking their family members for sticking by them, and also thanking the program directors for working with them while they began their drug-free lives.

Pastor Nate Loucks of State Street Church and the PAX Center gave an impassioned speech, where he shared his family’s past struggles with addiction.

He shared his encouragement after witnessing the Problem Solving Court graduates’ matriculation.

“The Problem Solving Court is one of the best programs in our county,” Loucks said. “Judge Friedman and her team do an outstanding job engaging things like addictions with redemptive solutions. It’s hard not to see the six graduates and not be inspired by their hard work and dedication to a transformed life.”

Those interested in finding Problem Solving Courts or Treatment Courts for their loved ones can find additional information at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ website, www.nadcp.org.

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