Graduates honored at ceremony

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 On Wednesday, July 10, the Oakland County Adult Treatment Court (ATC) conducted its 35th graduation since its inception in August of 2001. The 138th through the 145th graduates were honored with a ceremony and reception held in the Oakland County Commissioners Auditorium at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac.  

Among those taking part in the ceremony were (left to right) Mark Andritsis, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Joan Young, Krystal Hamilton, Melissa Dixon, Jami Makuch, Jaclyn Moses, Leah Houghtaling, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen O’Brien, and Frank Benion Jr.  

The ATC is a treatment driven court using alternative legal procedures for non-violent adult felony offenders with a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse or dependence.  Judges Young and O’Brien preside over the male and female participants respectively and the team also includes a defense attorney, probation officer, program supervisor, and various treatment providers.  

While the team meets bi-weekly, the team is in daily contact, intensely monitoring and intervening with the program’s participants.  The ATC recognizes that many offenders with substance use disorders also have co-morbid mental health problems. The court works with the offender to break the cycle of addiction, criminal activity, and jail/prison detention and stabilize mental health issues. 

Photo by John Meiu