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CNMI Drug Court has 22 active cases

THE local Drug Court has 22 active cases, according to its coordinator, TaAnn T. Kabua.

“We are pleased to report that more than half of our participants have remained sober since entering the program in Dec. 2016,” she added.

She said the Drug Court was founded on the premise that many addicts are arrested for behavior related to their addictions and, but for their addictions, they may be able to live productive and law-abiding lives.

Public Law 19-14, the enabling act for the CNMI Drug Court, was signed on Oct. 28, 2015.

In an earlier statement, Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio said participants in the Drug Court will receive treatment to address their substance use and intense supervision to ensure compliance.

She said participants will also be given be given the tools — life management skills, education, vocational training, and job preparedness — to lead productive law-abiding lives.

Drug Court awards participants for their positive achievements as they progress from addiction to sobriety, but also sanctions participants for non-compliance and for violating the terms and conditions of their enrollment, Judge Kim-Tenorio said.

Eligible participants are placed in highly structured, four phases of rehabilitation. Phase 1 is stabilization, Phases 2 and 3, treatment, and Phase 4 is transition, Kabua said.

She said of the 22 active cases, 12 have been promoted to Phase 2.

Phase 2 is focused on substance-abuse treatment, employment readiness, and other needs such as housing and family reunification, Kabua said.

In Phase 2, caseworkers also prepare participants for employment, she added.

“We applaud all our participants and understand the struggles they face as they try to reintegrate back into our community as law-abiding and drug-free citizens.”

Kabua said one case has been terminated; three are pending acceptance/denial; and eight are pending referrals.

The Drug Court team is composed of the judge, manager, caseworkers and representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Public Defender, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Corrections, and the designated treatment provider such as the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation’s Community Guidance Center.

The members signify a multidisciplinary team approach to combating recidivism and substance-abuse disorder, Kabua said.

On Monday acting Gov. Arnold Palacios approved a measure appropriating $99,000 for the Drug Court with the CNMI Superior Court presiding judge as expenditure authority.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97195-cnmi-drug-court-has-22-active-cases

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