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New Haven Drug Court to Hold Session at Quinnipiac College Law School

HARTFORDThe New Haven Drug Court will hold an open session in the Grand Courtroom at Quinnipiac Law School in Hamden on Thursday, April 12th, 2001 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Hon. Sheila Prats will preside.

"We are pleased to offer the public and the media the chance to view our Drug Court Sessions and get a glimpse at this innovative program," said the Hon. Joseph H. Pellegrino, Chief Court Administrator. "We are grateful to the Quinnipiac Law School for giving us the opportunity to bring our Drug Court Session to its campus."

Drug Court Sessions are sessions of the Superior Court that assist with the intervention, treatment and rehabilitation of non-violent drug offenders who desire to change circumstances in their lives and break the cycle of drug dependency.

The Drug Court Program consists of a minimum of 48 weeks and a maximum of 15 months of treatment, which may consist of inpatient, residential and outpatient treatment or a combination of any of the above.

Drug Court "teams" consist of the Judge, a State’s Attorney, a Public Defender, a Public Defender Social Worker, a Pre-Trial Service Bail Commissioner and a Drug Session Program Coordinator and Clinical Assessor. The Team meets weekly to review the treatment progress of each individual. All drug sessions require defendants to sign a contract outlining the court-ordered treatment conditions and sanctions, including community service.

In 4½ years of existence, the New Haven Drug Court—a national mentor court and training site—has graduated over 150 participants. Between January 2000 and February 2001, 44 clients have graduated. Two of these graduates earned their GED prior to graduation and one entered college.

Other Drug Court Sessions are located in Bridgeport, Waterbury and Hartford. The Hartford Drug Session is for juveniles. During three years of operation, Bridgeport Drug Court has graduated 51 clients while Waterbury graduated 16 clients between July 2000 and February 2001. All of the graduates were employed upon graduation.

Media outlets are invited to attend as well as photograph this Drug Court Session. For credentials and permission to photograph the proceedings, please fax a letter to Ginny Apple, Manager of Communications at 860-757-2215, no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, 2001.


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