enter the drug court program as part of a plea bargain to reduce or eliminate their charges, he hopes that “they begin to experience the benefits of sobriety and health.”
Humboldt’s drug court is “18 months of being accountable for everything you do,” Remen said. “They help direct you through every area of your life,” he added. “You have testing, you appear in court a certain number of times. You meet with probation officers and substance abuse counselors to direct you in your goals. It graduates down the further you get through the program.”
From 2013 to 2017, less than half (72) of its participants completed the program; 11 participants graduated last month. In the 17 years he’s worked with drug court patients, Remen has only missed one graduation.
“We’re blessed to have such a great drug court staff that we work so closely with — from the probation officers to the substance abuse counselors,” Remen said. “In the 17 years I’ve worked here, it’s just a huge dynamic in helping these people get on with their lives. I understand that clients are the ones that do all the work and make the changes, but to have the support of such a big group of people is what’s very helpful for them.”
Marlowe mentioned that it can be difficult to determine what qualifies as a good average national graduation rate.
“If you can get 50 to 70 percent of those people to turn their lives around, that’s a big deal,” he said.
Looking forward, Marlowe said that he would like to see the most successful approaches of different drug court programs standardized into a regulated national model.