The 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Missouri, which proudly serves the City of St. Louis, is pleased to share that its award-winning treatment court program will be honored today, Thursday, March 31, by the Missouri Association of Treatment Court Professionals for 25 years of distinguished service and excellence during the organization’s annual conference in Branson, Mo.
“Of course, we do not do what we do for the awards or accolades. We are here to help some of the most vulnerable among us caught in the merciless grasp of addiction or a mental health crisis,” said the Hon. Matt Melton. “However, our team is deeply appreciative and honored to be recognized by other treatment court professionals from across Missouri for a quarter century of working to make a difference.”
Founded on April 7, 1997, the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court’s treatment court program is the second longest running treatment court in the state. It is a specialized evidence-based, diversionary court docket designed for nonviolent adult criminal offenders, juvenile offenders, and parents with pending child welfare cases with demonstrated histories of mental health problems and/or drug and alcohol dependency and related crime.
Led by two commissioners, the Hon. Matt Melton and the Hon. Rochelle Woodiest, the program involves a multidisciplinary team of court professionals working collaboratively through a holistic approach to divert these individuals from the traditional and costly incarceration model of the criminal justice system by connecting them to tools and resources to rebuild their lives with intense supervision, judicial oversight, and personal accountability. The work also involves participation from judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, social workers, case managers, probation officers, service providers, and other subject matter experts.
“What treatment court does is offer these individuals a chance to be a more productive member of society while putting them on a path toward a successful recovery,” added Commissioner Woodiest. “Through available services and resources, they are able to earn a living, find stable housing, stay with their families, pay taxes, and/or finish their education. That benefits absolutely everyone and makes us a safer, stronger community.”
To date, it’s estimated that the 22nd Judicial Circuit’s treatment court program has successfully graduated approximately 2,200 individuals.
While participant eligibility, program duration, and requirements differ person to person, each must demonstrate abstinence from drugs and alcohol, satisfy rigorous treatment and supervision conditions, complete program requirements, and pay applicable fees and restitution in order to graduate.
To learn more about the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court’s treatment court program, please visit the Court’s website here.
To learn more about the Missouri Association of Treatment Court Professionals, please visit their website here.