Former drug abusers find their way with help of LaPorte County Problem Solving Court

Howie hugs the LaPorte County sheriff’s officer who arrested him.

Donna, a PSC graduate, speaks.

Carey receives a hug from Judge Greta Friedman.

Photos and information by Bob Wellinski

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Family and friends gathered Aug. 1, 2017, for a ceremony for the three new graduates of LaPorte County’s Problem Solving Court. Howie, Carey and Magon joined the 34 others who have graduated from the program, which started in May 2012. The 12-member problem-solving team served as the backdrop as Judge Greta Friedman led the ceremony at the LaPorte County Complex.

The Problem Solving Court was established as an alternative to traditional case processing of drug offenders. In the voluntary program, eligible offenders participate in an intense, multi-phase treatment program, submit to frequent drug testing and attend other court-ordered programs while under the supervision of the Problem Solving Court judge. Participants must attend the program for a minimum of 18 months. Successful participants may have their charges dismissed or modified. The court’s mission statement: “The LaPorte County Problem Solving Court is dedicated to holding high-risk, substance-addicted offenders accountable and reducing recidivism by frequent judicial review, individualized treatment and intensive supervision.”

Besides Judge Friedman, graduates and guests listened to heartfelt speeches from Dr. Vidya Kora, Judge Thomas Alevizos, Senator Joe Donnelly (via video recording), Drug Court coordinator Corissa Strader, and Donna, a PSC graduate.

During the event, tears could be seen running down the cheeks of several audience members as Howie and Carey spoke from their hearts. The tender young voice of Miranda Steele joined the soft notes from her acoustic guitar as she sang “Joyful Morning,” a song that she wrote.

Following the ceremony, the graduates shook hands with and hugged PSC members, as well as the police officers who initially arrested them. Cake and punch was served as family and friends congratulated the graduates.

For more information about LaPorte County Problem Solving Court, click on this link:

http://www.laportecounty.org/JudiciaryLaw/PSC/

Miranda Steele sings “Joyful Morning.”

Howie gets hugs from his kids.

Judge Friedman speaks.

The crowd applauds the graduates.

Corissa Strader, Drug Court coordinator, laughs at a remark by Howie.

Judge Tom Alevizos speaks.

Judge Friedman introduces the Problem Solving Court Board.

4 Responses to “Former drug abusers find their way with help of LaPorte County Problem Solving Court”

  1. Keven Putnam a.k.a. mr.pottawattamie park

    Aug 03. 2017

    Way to go great job!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sharon meyers

    Aug 04. 2017

    Proud of these people. They took the courage to straighten there life’s out. Congratulations

    Reply to this comment
  3. Franny

    Aug 04. 2017

    Way to go to all involved. Howie my friend…after wiping the tears of happiness about you..,&’pictures of you/children… can’t even tell you how proud I am for you & your family! Good luck in everything you do! Love you..

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tina

    Aug 09. 2017

    Congratulations. Good luck in all that you do in your future.

    Reply to this comment

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