For Immediate Release: July 28, 2023
Contact: Alisa Bousa, Public Information Officer
Alisa.Bousa@ujs.state.sd.us | 605.773.2031
Pennington County Drug Court to Recognize Graduates
PIERRE, S.D.—The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court will hold a commencement ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, for participants completing the Pennington County Drug Court.
The Pennington County Drug Court team invites the public and media (including cameras) to join them in recognizing the remarkable accomplishments of the graduates. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. MDT in the Commission Chambers of the Pennington County Administration Building, 130 Kansas City St., Rapid City. The event will also be live streamed at https://www.sd.net/UJSCourt2.
Pennington County Drug Court’s mission is to increase community safety, break the cycle of addiction, and foster healthy families by holding offenders accountable through a judicially-monitored court program to promote long-term recovery. The program was established in Rapid City in 2016. Three graduates will be celebrated at this commencement ceremony, which marks the 16th commencement ceremony for this program. A total of 43 participants have graduated from the Pennington County Drug Court.
Drug Court is a voluntary treatment program that provides intensive supervision and treatment services for offenders who are high-risk (not likely to succeed on standard probation supervision) and high-need (substantially affected by a substance use disorder).
Drug Court is challenging and requires rigorous effort from participants. Those in the program are held accountable through regular appearances before the Drug Court judge, frequent and random drug\alcohol testing, intense community supervision by the Drug Court team, substance use disorder treatment, mental health treatment as needed, medication management as needed, attendance at recovery support meetings, educational classes, and a system of behavior modification based on incentives and sanctions.
Drug Court is a five-phase intervention program with specific goals and activities required in each phase to help participants grow and heal. Once phase requirements are met, transition to the next phase occurs with approval from the Drug Court judge. The program length differs for each participant but is no less than 14 months.
Program participants receive numerous benefits including access to free substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment, achieving sobriety and attaining recovery, finding safe and stable housing, gaining employment or furthering their education, improving their physical and mental health, creating a stable and productive lifestyle, being a contributing member of society, and addressing their legal obligations.
For more information, contact Pennington County Problem-Solving Courts Coordinator Ashlee May at 605-394-2595 or Ashlee.May@ujs.state.sd.us.
About South Dakota Courts: The Unified Judicial System (UJS) consists of the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts and State Court Administrator’s Office. The Supreme Court is the state’s highest court and final decision maker on South Dakota law. The Circuit Courts are the state’s trial courts where criminal proceedings and civil litigation are handled. The State Court Administrator’s Office provides centralized administrative assistance and support services for the South Dakota judiciary. Learn more at https://ujs.sd.gov.