COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The Colorado Supreme Court has once again accredited the recovery court programs in El Paso County. These special problem-solving courts help get addicts back into a life of self-sufficiency and out of a cycle of crime.
El Paso County's drug court is one of the oldest programs in the state, starting in 1999. The program lasts three years for the people who are selected to participate. Selection decisions are made by a team of professionals including the judge, prosecutors, defense attorneys, court staff, probation officers, and law enforcement officers.
Michael Allen, who is running unopposed to be the 4th Judicial District Attorney, explained that participants in these programs are placed on intensive probation and receive multiple levels of treatment during the first two years of the program. They will then work with relatives, community members, and employers to re-integrate during their third year.
"If we can nip that in the bud, to use a figure of speech and get them off of the addiction path, and turned back around to being productive again, it's going to have a positive impact on crime rates in our community and that's good for everybody," Allen said.
Roughly 300 defendants are enrolled in Recovery Court programs in El Paso County each year. More than 1,000 people have graduated from the program over the course of its 22-year history.