Lewis County “Walk for Recovery”

Drug Court alumni and enrollees holding ‘Walk for Recovery’ on Monday in Centralia, public invited to join

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A Walk for Recovery 2024 shirt lies displayed on a table inside the South Tower Avenue Chevron on Thursday, May 9.

OWEN SEXTON/[email protected]

Posted Friday, May 10, 2024 2:41 pm

By Owen Sexton / [email protected]

On Monday, May 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m., Lewis County Drug Court alumni and current enrollees will set out for the 2024 Walk for Recovery from Gather Church’s cafe, located at 408 W. Main St. in downtown Centralia.

Drug Court graduate Leah Rader said the Walk for Recovery was being held in lieu of the annual fundraiser 5K run the Lewis County Drug Court Foundation usually holds, which isn’t being held this year due to budgetary issues.

“We still felt it was important to do something,” Rader said.

Graduates and current enrollees of Drug Court still wanted to have some sort of event to get out into the community, fellowship and spread awareness about substance abuse, addiction and their consequences.

Those consequences can be fatal, with the fentanyl crisis still claiming lives daily across the nation, and those in the recovery process are still in danger.

“I wasn’t super involved in Drug Court alumni stuff before, but after my brother Blake (Hansen) passed away right after graduating, I think it’s important for us alumni to keep participants engaged, especially after they graduate,” Rader said.

While he successfully graduated Drug Court after entering it in 2022, Hansen relapsed shortly after and overdosed.

“A day before, he was in the Drug Court office, saying, ‘Hey, I messed up, I need help,’ and that night he died,” Rader said.

Drug Court staff attempted to provide Hansen with assistance but it wasn’t going to be available until a later date, Rader said.

While the foundation couldn’t help organize the walk this year, it was still able to donate funds toward the Walk for Recovery.

“We were able to get $1,000 from the foundation that went toward the shirts,” Rader said.

She said Evan Nelson, of Lewis County Vending in Chehalis, also donated $200 toward getting shirts for the event. Rader’s friend, Jamie Lockhart, donated food for the event, as after the walk ends, hot dogs will be available for participants.

The community is invited to join in on the walk, which will go down Main Street to Pearl Street, past Fuller’s Shop’n Kart, then down Tower Avenue through downtown Centralia to Second Street. After turning on Second Street, walkers will head back south down Pearl Street toward Main Street and back to Gather Church.

Along with any interested community members, members of the Centralia Police

Department and Lewis County Sheriff’s Office have been invited to join the walk.

“I think it’s important to make that connection between people in recovery and the police, because there are stigmas that both police and addicts are bad, so for them to show their support would be super cool,” Rader said.

May is also National Treatment Court Month, which includes not only drug courts but also mental health courts and family recovery courts.

In Washington, there are more than 150 different treatment courts — including the Lewis County Drug Court — according to the Washington state Administrative Office of the Courts.

Rader went through Lewis County Drug Court after her own experiences dealing with homelessness and drug abuse. She has now been sober for more than six years.

Drug Court was created in 2004 and is a voluntary program for addicts charged with a felony, according to Drug Court Program Manager Stephanie Miller.

The program targets high need and high risk offenders with a poor prognosis for success on their own. It aids them with structure and support using a three-phase recovery program. Drug Court lasts a minimum of 16 months, with most participants graduating after 19 to 22 months.

To graduate, a Drug Court participant must have a full-time job and stable housing, complete recommended treatment, stay clean for at least six months and be in the program for at least 16 months. Participants must also have a sober mentor and pay any court-ordered fines and restitution stemming from their case, Miller added. Once a person graduates, their charges are dismissed.

Snohomish County Celebrates Therapeutic Court Month

The Snohomish County Council entered a resolution recognizing May 2024 as National Treatment Court Month in Snohomish County.

Snohomish County Recovery Courts participated in the 1st Annual Spring into Recovery Event at Funko Field. The event was a resource and community fair coupled with an Everett AquaSox baseball game. Over 200 Recovery Court participants, team members, and community partners attended the game!

Judge Joseph Wilson throws out the first pitch.

Let’s go AquaSox!

Jamie Reed (Snohomish County Superior Therapeutic Courts Program Administrator), Luke Emerson, and Skyler Willian working hard to share resources and information to those in need.

ISLAND COUNTY DRUG COURT

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.

SHELTON MUNICIPAL COURT INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT COURT

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.

CLARK COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

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.

MASON COUNTY THERAPEUTIC COURTS

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.

Susan

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.

Gabbi

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