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Ogle drug court candidates get thorough screening

(Chris Johnson/OCN)
A new banner for the New Horizons, Ogle County adult drug court was unveiled Friday afternoon. Here Ogle County director of court services Greg Martin, Ogle County Sheriff Greg Beitel, Ogle County States Attorney Ben Roe, Ogle County Judge Kathleen Kauffmann, public defender Eric Morrow, Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., representative Brenda Palmieri, and GED and career instructor Cathey Stoddard have their photo taken with the new banner.

OREGON – Ogle County's New Horizons Drug Court unveiled a drug court banner Friday, and highlighted its first year of accomplishments.

Ogle County State's Attorney Ben Roe said the drug court has nine clients and five potential candidates. Participants go through a thorough screening process that he oversees, Roe said.

Some criminal behavior, such as violent crime and distribution of illegal substances, automatically excludes candidates from the program.

The screening process involves three steps, followed by the vote of the drug court team.

Two drug court participants spoke during Friday's news conference. They did not want their pictures taken, or their last names used.

"I am a drug addict," said Justin, 28, who lives in Stillman Valley. "I have been using drugs since age 12. This is the best thing that has happened to me. I am happy for a change. ... If I was still using drugs, I would be dead."

Ogle County Drug Court Structure

In Ogle County, drug court is a minimum 18-month commitment. The time can be extended if the following phases aren't completed on time:

Phase 1 (3 months)

• Attend drug court once a week

• Attend all treatment as ordered

• Report to probation a minimum of 4 times per month

• Attend 3 support groups per week

• Approved living situation or plan

• Drug testing as required

• Primary treatment must be completed at this phase. Upon completion of treatment, begin GED, seek employment, or investigate school opportunities.

• 30 days sober

Phase 2 (4 months)

• Attend drug court every other week

• Continue with treatment as directed

• Must attend GED program, secure employment, or attend school

• Report to probation a minimum of 3 times per month

• Attend 3 support groups per week (1 group per week can be pro-social organized activity)

• Approved living situation or plan

• Drug testing as required

• When possible, attempt to secure an Illinois driver's license

• Obtain a sponsor, mentor, or positive adult role model

• Must pay 25 percent of drug court fees

• 90 days clean

Phase 3 (5 months)

• Attend drug court once every 4 weeks

• Continue treatment as directed

• Obtain GED

• Continue with full-time employment or school

• Attend 2 support groups per week

• Drug testing as required

• Report to probation a minimum of 3 times per month

• Maintain weekly contact with sponsor

• 6 months total sobriety

Phase 4 (6 months)

• Attend drug court once every 8 weeks

• Continue treatment as directed

• Report to probation 2 times per month

• Random drug screens

• Attend 1 support group per week

• Maintain full-time employment

• Must pay all court fees to be discharged from drug court

• Maintain 1 year of sobriety


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