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Drug Treatment Court Continues To Save Lives & Change Futures
The Knutsford Court Hotel was the scene of the Drug Treatment Court Graduation ceremony on Wednesday November 27, 2013, as members of the legal fraternity, local business community. friends, families and well wishers gathered to witness the presentations of graduates of the Drug Treatment Rehabilitation Programme.
Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, commended the graduates for staying the course of treatment and urging them to remain drug free, while on the road to becoming productive citizens of Jamaica. Resident Magistrate at the Corporate Area Court – Criminal Division, Her Honour Miss Maxine Ellis, explained that the graduates, who have successfully completed the programme, would leave the criminal justice system without a criminal record for the offence for which they were charged. She further stated that this approach to rehabilitation is a very involved process, as it requires the participants to talk to the judge, being closely supervised and monitored resulting in the offenders being given life tools to start afresh. All these activities are underpinned by the participation and support of the judicial leadership and the community.
Representing the local business community was Glen Bromfield as he urged other business persons to come on board by helping to employ rehabilitated persons. “Give them employment; don’t rehabilitate them without giving them some form of employment. If you can help, please help.” Mr. Bromfield also offered the use of a recently built community centre in St. Elizabeth for the service of the Courts in the drug treatment programme.
The Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Court was established in 2001 and offers a treatment programme for individuals, who are believed to have committed offences while under the influence of drugs including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, morphine, opium and heroin. The court is seen by many as an avenue for change and a second chance at life. Through its rehabilitation and treatment services, the court helps individuals to become drug-free, productive citizens. The programme requires that persons must be 17 years and older, and must not have any mental condition that would restrict active participation.