For More Information Contact:
Catherine Durland (845) 486-2133
Poughkeepsie, New York: On Monday, August 26th at 2pm in the Dutchess County Courthouse, 10 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County Court Judge Peter M. Forman will host a graduation ceremony for those who successfully completed the Judicial Diversion Program. The Diversion program, which was instituted in 2009 as an alternative to incarceration program, plays a key role in fight against to the ongoing public health crisis of drug addiction throughout New York State.
The Dutchess County Court Judicial Diversion Program is an 18-month or longer program where non-violent offenders, if selected to participate in the program, may receive a reduced sentence or avoid felony convictions. The program is intended to provide addicts with customized paths to rehabilitation, including both inpatient and outpatient care. A team of talented professionals including Judge Forman and court staff, State Office of Court Administration Judicial Diversion Coordinator and representatives from the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the Department of Behavioral and Community Mental Hygiene Division, as well as Probation & Community Corrections meet prior to each Diversion calendar to review the progress in treatment of each participant.
Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall, who will be offering remarks at the ceremony, stated, “As Clerk of the Supreme and County Courts, I see too often the cyclical nature of addiction. This program offers participants the chance to move forward with their lives with a new outlook and skills they have learned. I am pleased to join in acknowledging their efforts on their road to recovery and sobriety.”
The four-stage program requires monthly meetings in court, scheduled treatment and support appointments, and random drug testing. Treatment options include inpatient or outpatient care, medication assisted treatment, and mental health services as well as vocational and educational training. If a participant fails any of the requirements they can be sanctioned ranging from essay assignments and increased drug screenings to termination from the program and initial charges reinstated.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County continues ‘Breaking Through’ the stigma of addiction and mental illness. Our intensive array of alternatives to incarceration helps connect individuals to the resources and support they need and stem the tide of overdose and drug-related deaths. By celebrating the efforts of these individuals, we can reinforce the positive lessons this program has instilled and continue them on their path to long-term recovery.”
Dutchess County Court Judge Peter M. Forman stated, “With hard work, dedication and a commitment to change, each graduate has been transformed from somebody struggling in the depths of addiction into a sober and productive member of our community and we celebrate their accomplishments.”