By proclamation of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, May 2022 has officially been declared as “Drug Court Month” in the City of St. Louis.
The accolade coincides with “National Drug Court Month”, which is observed each May by drug and treatment courts across the country and is coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
It’s also in recognition of the recent 25th anniversary of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court’s treatment court program, which began in April 1997 and is now the second-longest running such program in Missouri.
“We’re grateful for this recognition from Mayor Jones and the City of St. Louis and are happy to have their support. It’s important that our elected leaders in local government understand the difference treatment court is making in the lives of our residents and their families,” said the Hon. Rochelle Woodiest, Treatment Court Commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit.
“Treatment courts such as ours provide evidence-based treatment and judicial oversight and accountability to help lead people out of the grips of addiction and related crime and help put them on a path toward recovery and hope. We thank Mayor Jones and the City for helping to bring attention to our hardworking staff who help carry out this mission every day,” said the Hon. Matthew Melton, Treatment Court Commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit.
The proclamation from Mayor Jones reads:
WHEREAS, The 22nd Judicial Circuit Court is the proud home to Missouri’s second longest running treatment court program at 25 years old. The award-winning program has helped approximately 2,200 St. Louisans break the cycle of addiction through recovery and accountability; and
WHEREAS, Treatment courts have been restoring lives and families for more than three decades. There are now nearly 4,000 treatment courts nationwide; and they are the cornerstone of justice reform sweeping the nation; and
WHEREAS, Treatment courts have served more than 1.5 million individuals. They are now recognized as the most successful justice system intervention in our nation’s history. They save an average of $6,000 for every individual they serve; and
WHEREAS, Treatment courts significantly improve substance use disorder treatment outcomes, substantially reduce addiction and related crime, and do so at less expense than any other criminal justice strategy; and
WHEREAS, Treatment courts improve education, employment, housing, and financial stability, promote family reunification, reduce foster care placements, and increase the rate of addicted mothers delivering babies who are fully drug free; and
WHEREAS, Treatment courts facilitate community-wide partnerships, bringing together public safety and public health; and they demonstrate that when one person rises out of substance use and crime, we all rise.
Now, therefore, I, Tishaura O. Jones, Mayor of the City of St. Louis, do hereby proclaim the month of May 2022 as:
“DRUG COURT MONTH”
IN THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the seal of the City of St. Louis, this 1st day of May, A.D. 2022.
The proclamation was presented Monday, May 23 by Wilford Pinkney Jr., the mayor’s Director of Children, Youth, and Families, during a regularly scheduled treatment court graduation ceremony.
Three additional individuals were recognized for successfully completing the program before a crowd of friends, family, supporters, and previous graduates.