The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit would like to show our support for International Overdose Awareness Day along with Overdose Prevention Month in September to create a better understanding of overdoses, and to help reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. On Tuesday August 22, 2023, Judge Robyn E. Stone held a graduation ceremony at the Indian River County Courthouse for four graduates from the Indian River Felony Drug Court program. They were recognized and celebrated for their hard work and successful completion of all their program requirements. Several graduates expressed how the program has improved their lives and sincerely thanked the team of professionals (judge, prosecutor, public defender/defense counsel, program coordinator, probation officer, treatment providers and lab technicians) for their constant support while they were in the program.
The Indian River County Felony Drug Court was implemented in May 2002 as a community-based program that pairs court supervision with treatment intervention services to individuals struggling with a substance use disorder. It is a specialized court docket which targets non-violent criminal defendants who suffer from an addiction by expeditiously and efficiently diverting them from jail or prison into an individualized treatment plan while connecting them with wrap-around services within the community. These resources help teach them the skills and tools they desperately need to remain substance-free while rebuilding their lives. Having this specialized court helps to improve public safety, reduce recidivism, and more importantly, restore lives.
Congratulations to each of the graduates, and thank you to Judge Stone and her drug court team for their continued hard work and dedication to ensure the success of each of the participants in this program.