RESTORE Foundation receives grant from OCBF

The Oakland County Bar Foundation has awarded the RESTORE Foundation a $20,000 grant.

In awarding the grant, Eric Pelton, president of the OCBF, issued the following statement: "The Oakland County Bar Foundation acknowledges the hard work that the RESTORE Foundation has set out to accomplish since its launch. The assistance you provide to individuals and their families going through the drug treatment court is outstanding. The ability for individuals to stay in school, obtain/retain a job, and become productive citizens is a valuable resource to our county."

Retired Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, who now serves as president of the RESTORE Foundation, was understandably delighted by the grant award.

"The Oakland County Bar Foundation has been a wonderful supporter of the RESTORE Foundation since 2009," Sosnick said. "We are truly grateful for their continued generosity, and the money will make a difference for all those working to turn their lives around the drug court programs."

The Drug Treatment Courts, which include programs for adults and juveniles in Oakland County, were created in 2001 by the Oakland County Circuit Court in response to the dramatic increase in the number of people jailed for drug-related offenses. When money for the drug courts was cut as a result of Michigan's prolonged recession, the RESTORE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was created to help bridge the funding gap.

According to county officials, it costs approximately $35,000 to house a prison or jail inmate each year. In contrast, the Drug Treatment Court costs $5,000 annually per participant. Since their inception, the drug courts have "achieved significant milestones in addition to substantial savings for taxpayers," according to Sosnick. The Adult Treatment Court has admitted 485 participants, while the Juvenile Drug Court admitted 263 participants and served 442 family members.

"Participants have significantly lower recidivism rates, graduate from high school, attend college, obtain meaningful employment, have drug-free babies, create healthy and functional families, and have returned to tell how they are now living drug-free and successful lives," Sosnick said.

"Beyond all the statistics, research and data is the human value of the drug court programs," he said. "Unintended drug overdose deaths are the second cause of accidental deaths in this nation, trailing only traffic fatalities. Our drug courts prevent such tragedies and save lives."

For those interested in supporting the RESTORE Foundation, contact Sosnick at 248-730-4641.

Published: Tue, Sep 23, 2014