MAYVILLE — To coincide with National Drug Court Month, Keith D. Ahlstrom, D-Dunkirk and County Legislature chairman, has proclaimed May Drug Court Month in Chautauqua County too.
Ahlstrom said drug courts combine judicial accountability and evidence-based treatment to effectively intervene against substance abuse and related crime.
‘‘Drug courts and the programs overseen by their staff give individuals involved an opportunity to turn their lives around,’’ Ahlstrom said, ‘‘restoring hope to the graduates and their families.’’
Ahlstrom read the proclamation from the Chautauqua County Legislature on Wednesday during a drug court graduation.
To graduate participants are generally in the program for at least one year. A parent must have remained drug- and alcohol-free and be either gainfully employed or a student in an enrolled program. All graduates have successfully completed their treatment program, complied with the terms of all court orders, have attended treatment sessions and all other requirements for the requisite period.
Each participant goes through three phases, attending court weekly, biweekly and finally monthly, as they progress through the program. The treatment court works to achieve the following goals: ensure quality services for children and families, build cooperative treatment and service provider relationships, maximize reunification opportunities for families while practicing safe permanency planning under the law, reduce taxpayer costs associated with these types of cases, reduce recidivism among Family Court Neglect filings and promote healthy families.
Chautauqua County Family Treatment Drug Court is the first rural Family Drug Court in the Eighth Judicial District and one of the first in New York state. The program is designed to break the cycle of child neglect and help parents and children live drug free lives and facilitate family reunification of children in foster care.