Drug Court Team Presents to Rotary Club

​Treatment courts are the single most successful intervention in our nation's history for leading people living with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability.Instead of viewing addiction as a moral failing, they view it as a disease. Instead of punishment, they offer treatment. Instead of indifference, they show compassion.
Chili, a retired seeing eye dog, originally raised by Judge Stephen Warning, now serves the County as a Court Therapy Dog in the Juvenile and Therapeutic Courts. Chili attends court sessions, and circulates in the Courtroom, providing unconditional support for litigants and Court Staff.

On Tuesday, 21 May 2019, as part of National Drug Court Month, The Cowlitz County Therapeutic Courts were the featured speakers at the Longview Early Morning Rotary Club.

Judges Marilyn Haan and Gary Bashor, along with Program Manager Adam Pithan and Case Aid Edward Stone (and Court Therapy Dog Chili!) attended the breakfast meeting at Lower Columbia College Student Center. The team explained the overall approach and effectiveness of the various Therapeutic Court Programs the run by Superior Court and answered questions from the members present.

The presentation covered the Adult Drug Court, Adult Mental Health Court, Juvenile Drug (S.A.F.E),Court  the Juvenile Mental Health Court and the Juvenile Family Dependency (H.O.P.E.) Court. Judge Haan presides over the Juvenile programs, Judge Bashor presides over the Adult Drug Court and the Court Commissioner Tierra Busby presides over the Adult Mental Health Court.

The team presented data as to the effectiveness of the various programs and described the new Low Risk Track program the Adult Drug Court is in the process of implementing.

May is National Drug Court Month and programs nationally are celebrating 30 years of drug courts in the United States. 

  • First Drug Court established in Miami-Dade County, FL in 1989
  • The idea? If "criminals" are committing crimes to feed their addictions, then treating their addiction, and getting people into recovery, should stop the criminal activity
  • There are currently more than 3,500 therapeutic courts in the U.S.
  • In Cowlitz County we have 5 therapeutic courts, the first having started in August of 1999. 

Judge Marilyn Haan, Chili, Judge Gary Bashor, Program Manager Adam Pithan, Case Aid Edward Stone
​If you would like more information, or would be interested in having the Drug Court Team present at your organization, please contact::

​​Adam Pithan
Therapeutic Courts Program Manager
SAFE Court Memorial Day Event
Public Law Library Updated

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