The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Drug Court program participants giving back


May 18, 2018

Many people that struggle with drug addiction focus on taking. The members of the Ninth Judicial District Drug Court Program are learning how to give back.

The 15 month program requires drug offenders to attend therapy sessions and recovery meetings, submit to regular drug tests and participate in volunteer work, according to Curry County Drug Court Coordinator Brian Forde.

“We’ve participated with the food bank, and we’ve done that when they’ve had food drives. Last Saturday we’ve also participated with the post office when they’ve had their food drive,” he said.

Being National Drug Court Month, May sees participants ratchet up their charitable work, according to Roosevelt County Drug Court Coordinator Angie Cordova.

“We currently right now are doing drug awareness class for teen court participants. We also do Produce to People outreach, and that’s just giving back to the community every month,” she said. “This weekend, we’ll be participating in the (Roosevelt County) Prevention Day. They’re pretty busy.”

All this work equips participants for a lifelong journey that doesn’t end after they leave the program, according to Forde.

“I’ve seen people (in the program) actually running businesses here in Clovis; rebuilding families,” he said, adding that since the program accepted its first participant in 2006, it has seen 140 defendants and graduated 123.

“75 percent of the people who enter into a drug court and graduate do not get re-arrested, and that is the national average,” he said.

Portales’ program was only started in 2015 and has seen 14 of its 54 participants graduate, but Cordova still noted drastic changes in those who have lasted.

“As soon as they engage themselves into the program, they become organized; they start to change their lives; their behavior changes,” she said, adding that one of the greatest gifts the program gives its participants is trust.

“They learn to trust. That’s a big thing, the fact that they go from not trusting someone to being honest and trusting someone,” she said.


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