Our church’s involvement with this program began after our Vision Team reached out to community leaders about needs in the area. Judge Tiffany Beckman had just started the program in the fall of 2015 as a way to help combat opioid addiction in our community. Participants can only enter the program after they have served jail time.
The court convenes twice a month. Accountability and reward are key to the success of the program. As participants move through the four phases, they go from being drug tested every day to only randomly. They are also required to attend support and addiction meetings.
If a drug court participant has met all of the court’s requirements for the period, he or she is considered to be “100 percent” and can get a prize out of the reward basket. The First Presbyterian Church (EPC), along with other area churches, provides the gum, beef jerky, shampoo, etc. to fill the basket.
In addition, this past Christmas our church was able to bless 14 children in five families of drug court participants by having the parents fill out “angels” indicating what their children might like. Members of our congregation then chose an angel from the tree and shopped for gifts for these parents to give their children.
There are currently about a dozen participants in drug court, and in the course of this program, over twenty-five people have graduated.