Six claim new lives thanks to Recovery Court
Today I am so happy to share good news with you.
Four women and two men have restored their lives through our Recovery Court program and will be honored at a graduation ceremony Monday, June 22 at Abigail’s Field.
Two years ago these six were in jail serving substantial sentences for felonies stemming from their substance use disorders. Today they all have full-time jobs, including one who works at a Nashville treatment center. One regained custody of her children. Two are attending college. All are making steady payments on their court costs and fines.
Two years ago assessments showed they were capable of success if they traded jail for an extremely strict program of recovery. It included frequent, unannounced drug tests; home visits; intensive outpatient therapy and in some cases, residential treatment; and appearance in court twice a month. They were expected to live in a sober environment, improve their education and job skills, and pursue employment. 
Participants who failed drug tests or didn’t meet other expectations were sent back to jail, either temporarily or to complete their sentences. You see, the group that started was larger than six.
And if six seems like a small number to impact, please add the parents, siblings, spouses, children, aunts, uncles, and friends who have surely struggled along with them. Monday, June 22 is an important day for them as well.
Recovery Court Coordinator Tamara Robinson tells me there are 14 other Lawrence Countians working their way through the 18-24 month program, and now, 20 in Maury County. Circuit Judge David Allen presides over both and is willing to also give time to future programs in Wayne and Giles Counties. 
Recovery Court programs are run by a team of professionals who meet with participants and make decisions about them.  Our team includes Robinson, Judge Allen, representatives from the District Attorney and Public Defender’s office, the Lawrence County Jail, and LifeCare. South Central Human Resources Agency (SCHRA) receives a state grant to oversee Recovery Court in our Judicial District.
Other program partners include Hope Restored, providers of intensive outpatient recovery, relapse prevention, and Moral Reconation Therapy for Recovery Court participants. Jennifer Taylor of Childcare Resource & Referral conducts parenting classes. Rev. Angy Trimmer conducts a year-long Life Skills class with graduates. Lawrenceburg’s First United Methodist Church hosts a meal for participants before one of their two monthly court appearances. Local attorney Stacie Odeneal is organizing the June 22 graduation ceremony and celebration.
I will be there, cheering on these six individuals who have worked so hard for their new lives. Thanks to all who helped them achieve it.



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