During the March 2023 Island County Drug Court graduation ceremony, graduates were presented with the courts first ever “recovery rocks.” Carolyn started tumbling found rocks and realized she could use them as part of the court’s graduation ceremony, providing a unique token for participants to carry forth with them in their journey.

Recovery Rocks

It is said, rough seas make smooth stones and just like you, every rock is different, polished and shaped by the waves and water they come from. While they have some imperfections, they are each beautiful and unique in their own way. And some are given a little extra polishing to become what they are now. You joined the program, were given some extra help and encouragement, to help you become who you are now. Over time, our recovery and your recovery rock, may need some attention (and maybe a little more polishing). You have worked hard and overcame rocks in the road of life and revealed your honest beauty (inside and out). Pick a keepsake stone as a reminder to keep rockin’ your recovery!

“I am so grateful to Island County Drug Court for not only the support and encouragement to work on my recovery, but also the guidance I have received in reintegrating into the community. I think being involved in the court system in a positive way has changed the way I view myself as an individual and as a member of the community and society at large. This experience has really helped me overcome a lot of feelings of guilt and shame for my past behaviors and I have a newfound respect for myself. I am honored to have had the opportunity to prove to the courts that I am capable of change and to have earned the dismissal of a felony. I feel like I have a much better footing in life today than I did before starting this process. I appreciate the encouragement to continue in my education, and I also appreciate being treated with dignity and respect throughout a very challenging time in my life. Thank you to: Thea S. from Sunrise Services, Carolyn Pence, Ken Delano, the Deputy Prosecutor, Public Defenders Claire Charbonneau, and Nicole Nelson, Island County Superior Court, and Judge Skinner.”

N.C. March 2023 Island County Drug Court graduate

“I won’t let my past keep my future from being anything but excellent. At first Drug Court was a way out of jail.   They paid my rent until I could manage my life on my own. They paid my phone bill until I could afford it alone. This program saved my life and helped me change from a lost boy to a good hardworking man. Everyone on the team, even the prosecutors, wanted me to succeed. This program changes lives and you all should feel very good about what you’re doing with your lives because you saved mine. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all!”

V.G. March 2023 Island County Drug Court graduate

“I found the Drug Court program to be very time consuming, but not a waste of time. I am grateful for everything I have learned and the person it has helped me become. I figured out early that it is only as hard as you make it.  If I were ever given the option of Drug Court again, I would be happy to take it. I have learned a lot and it has become an important part of my life. None of this would have been possible if I were not clean and I would not have been able to get clean if it were not for the Drug Court Program.  For this, I am grateful and cannot thank the Drug Court team and program enough.”

A.B. March 2023 Island County Drug Court graduate

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Carolyn Pence, Therapeutic Courts Coordinator, for contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.


Judge Stephen Greer pictured with graduate William Francis Cruz Jeronimo

The mission of the Shelton Municipal Individualized Treatment Court (ITC) is to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism of those who suffer from substance use disorders and/or behavioral health issues by connecting these participants with community treatment services. The Court seeks to assist those especially in the Latino community as they are underserved in our community and an important part of the community. In order to accomplish this mission, the Individualized Treatment Court seeks to address the unique needs of each individual. The ITC Court is pre-conviction.

The Shelton Individualized Treatment Court has blended Drug Court, Behavioral Health Court, and Community Court standards into one Court. Furthermore, we serve our Treatment Court community in five languages: Akateko, Mam, Q’anjob’al, Spanish, and English. Eighty-three percent of our participants do not speak English. In addition to traditional substance use disorder and behavioral health disorder treatment we offer voluntary services tailored to each individual. Examples are employment assistance, sober housing, ESL, education, relicensing, and financial planning.

We were created through an AOC grant and commenced in February 2022. So far nine (9) individuals have graduated from the program with a certificate in either Spanish or English awarded along with a dismissal of criminal charges.

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Judge Stephen D. Greer, Municipal Court Judge, for contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.


Watch this video of Clark County Superior Court Residential Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (Res DOSA) Drug Court graduates and team members discussing the benefits of utilizing the Drug Court model for supervising individuals sentenced to Res DOSA in our community.

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Shauna McCloskey, Superior Court Program Coordinator, for contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.


Snohomish County Recovery Courts partnered with the Everett Recovery Cafe for a “Taco ‘Bout Recovery Night.” This was a fun night of tacos, karaoke, and recovery.

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Jamie Reed, Program Manager, for her contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.



Positive growth.

My name is Daniel “DJ” Rivera and I graduated from the Snohomish County Adult Drug Court program in March of 2008. My clean and sober date is March 6, 2007, which is a day that transformed my life into something more spectacular than I could have ever dreamed. I am going to tell you a little bit about what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now.

My life prior to entering Drug Court was filled with daily use of alcohol and drugs. My use started out with alcohol and then cannabis around 14 years old. It was very obvious that I did not drink like my friends I was partying with as I would consume as much alcohol as I could in a short time and black out. My father passed away from a heart attack a couple of days after my 17th birthday. I was present when he died and performed CPR on him until medics could arrive. This event would serve as a catalyst that would take me down a path that I could not get out of on my own. I was introduced to methamphetamine soon after and was immediately hooked. I was homeless off and on for the next ten years and would often stay with “friends” until those bridges were burned.

During this time, I met a woman that I entered a relationship with, and we would use together. She eventually got pregnant, and we had a son together. I remember telling her and my unborn son that I was going to get sober. My son was born, and I remember crying uncontrollably. There were tears of happiness and tears of sadness because I knew I was not going to be able to stop.

DJ booking photo
DJ as an Adult Recovery Court Graduate

My addiction soon got worse. My son was about six months old when I was arrested for a possession of a controlled substance charge on December 28, 2005. It would be over a year before I would enter Drug Court. During this year, my addiction got even worse, and I was trying to hide my use from everyone around me.

On March 6, 2007, I entered Drug Court. This is also the date that I claim as my clean and sober date because the first UA I took was from that day which came back clean. I had never kept track of my clean time before since I could never get more than a couple of days. I entered treatment shortly after contracting in and began attending 12-step meetings immediately. It was through treatment, MRT, and 12-step meetings that I was able to achieve sobriety and more. I began changing everything about myself and going through the 12-steps with my sponsor and eventually working through the steps in MRT. I graduated from Drug Court on March 9, 2008, but my story does not stop there.

I would later return to school and enter the substance use disorder program at Edmonds Community College and would graduate in 2012. I interviewed at different agencies before I chose a site for my internship. Little was I to know that I would embark on an amazing journey with this agency. Six months after starting an unpaid internship, I was hired on full time. One benefit of working for this agency is they were one of the two contractors for Snohomish County Drug Court. I eventually was made a backup for the treatment liaison position and then became the treatment liaison for the Snohomish County Juvenile Drug Court program. I became a clinical supervisor in August of 2016 and would have to step out of my role as the treatment liaison. I was then given the opportunity to supervise both the Adult and Youth Drug Court program for my agency. I would also return to school during this time and obtain a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Judge Wilson (left) and DJ (right)

I have seen and been a part of a lot of change over the years. Some changes have really benefited the clients by providing more individualized services and opportunities. During the pandemic, the Blake Ruling was handed down by the Washington State Supreme Court. This ruling stated that possession charges were no longer a felony. I watched helplessly as some of our client’s charges were dismissed and with that dismissal their opportunity for recovery. Most of these clients returned to use and have struggled to get sober again.

I think about my own journey and what would have happened to me if I did not have the opportunity that I had. Drug Courts work! They provide us the structure, support, and accountability that we need to learn how to live life without substances. Today, I am a father, a son, a brother, a coach, an employee, and many other things. I owe this all to the opportunity that I received so many years ago that helped me start my journey in recovery.


A Snohomish County Adult Recovery Court participant won 2nd place in the 2022 NADCP art contest.

Out of my Shell – New Identity

The red road to welbriety in my Native American culture is when we are on our way to mental wellness and sobriety. The turtle represents myself and my sober identity coming out of the shell and as you see I put no face on the turtle inside the shell because in addiction, I had no real identity.

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Jamie Reed, Program Manager, for her contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.


Mason County Therapeutic Courts consist of Adult Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Court, and Family Recovery Court. The two amazing case workers, Susan and Gabbi, are at the heart of the court team.

Susan and Gabbi bring their unique experience as graduates of a therapeutic court to their work with participants to connect with, encourage, assist, and hold them accountable so that all participants can have the best chance at success.

I am proud of who our program helped me become and am grateful to work with such amazing people, and really, this job helps keep my recovery strong; reminding me where I came from. I couldn’t be more blessed.


I feel like I’ve changed, and I don’t want to ever forget where I’ve come from. I know how it feels and I don’t ever want to be unaware or forget. I try to connect with people because I can see what needs to be done because I know what it was like when I went through it. I try to help them regain hope.


The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Kayla Henley, Court Coordinator, for her contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.


Courts and the communities they serve are having difficulties meeting the challenges that come with the behavioral health issues experienced by the people seen in our courts when behavioral health and crime intersect. These behavioral health issues also impact the families of the affected individuals as well as local communities in significant ways. Community resources are strained, inadequate, and fragmented which means that the cycle of crime associated with behavioral health challenges seems to continue largely unchecked.

Therapeutic specialty courts have done wonders with the people that have been served by them, but limited resources combined with screening criteria create boundaries to entry for many. This means that courts and communities are not able to do much for people at the early stages when the issues and impacts are still controllable or for people that are not otherwise eligible.

Federal Way Municipal Court is taking on this challenge with a multi-faceted approach using the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) with barrier-free warm-handoffs to treatment and services through peer support personnel provided by Peer Kent. Des Moines and Renton Municipal Courts are also taking this approach. Federal Way and Des Moines are sharing a grant from the Administrative Office of the Courts while Renton is operating under a separate grant.

Peer support participation is not mandated; it is instead entirely voluntary, confidential, and free. This barrier-free access to peer services using SIM opens up the opportunity for therapeutic intervention at any stage of the proceedings. In Federal Way, people are allowed to access a peer support professional who will link the person to treatment and services if they are in court on a criminal case, an infraction, and even if they are in court supporting a family member or friend.

The way SIM works is to make interventions available in an organized way at every “intercept.” There are six intercepts in SIM: community services (Intercept 0), law enforcement (Intercept 1), initial appearance in court (Intercept 2), at disposition (Intercept 3, including therapeutic courts), jail reentry (Intercept 4), and probation (Intercept 5). More information about SIM can be found here.

Federal Way, with assistance of a grant from the Administrative Office of the Courts in partnership with Des Moines Municipal Court, conducted a Sequential intercept Mapping Workshop. This workshop identified existing resources and gaps in South King County. That work is now being used to form a regional resource referral network.

Most important, peer warm handoffs are not just available in community court (Intercept 3), they are available as the means to connect people to services and treatment at Intercepts 2, 3, and 5, the intercepts controlled by the court. Peer Kent is also allowed to work in the SCORE Jail and Federal Way Police have also agreed to use Peer Kent for Blake referrals. This means that people have access to peers and services in five of the six intercepts which means that the available reach for therapeutic intervention is expanded substantially.

Does this approach work? In the first nine months, this approach served 1,445 people. Many of the people just needed referrals, but 691 people continued to engage in ongoing contact with peers.

The WSADCP Training Committee would like to thank Judge David Larson for his contribution to our Treatment Court Month celebration.