Drug courts offer offenders second chance

35 graduates given second chance

The drug courts are giving 35 nonviolent offenders with substance abuse problems a second chance.

Once written off by society, 35 graduated from an intense 12- to 24-month program aimed at turning their lives around.

"It was a big accomplishment for me out of my whole life. Ever since I was growing up, I was always in trouble and on the drug scene," said graduate Fidel Rodriguez.

Robert Reyes, also a graduate, admits he was an alcoholic. He was on his third DWI.

"Now I don't even drink. It doesn't even get my attention, but it's all because of drug court," said Reyes.

Judge Ernie Glenn believes the graduates are ready for their next step in life. He admits the program isn't easy.

"We start them with a lot of structure," said Judge Glenn. "They've got to go to probation, case management, treatment, 12-step meetings, we keep them very busy."

The second chance is not one these graduates take lightly. It's a fresh start with a new outlook on life.


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