In 2007, the court began planning its Sobriety Court Program, and held regular meetings toward that goal; we visited a variety of different courts, and ultimately traveled to Athens, Georgia for a week-long seminar in the summer of 2008. After hours of planning and preparation, the 33rd District Sobriety Court Program accepted its first Participant in late 2008. Since its inception, there have been 104 graduates with an average of 40 Participants actively in the program at any given time. The program is compiled with strenuous requirements that include two years of Probation, rigorous chemical testing, substance abuse treatment, 12-step meeting attendance, Bi-weekly Review Hearings, many hours of Community Service and significant fines and costs. Participants are required to be extremely committed, without fail, to sobriety.
The Sobriety Court Team consists of the Hon. Michael K. McNally, Hon. Jennifer Coleman Hesson, Court Administrator Amy Zawack, Director of Probation Elizabeth Wilds, Case Manager Lindsey Dehnke, Sobriety Court Clerk Janet Miller, Defense Counsel Patrick O-Reilly, Wayne County Prosecutors Office, therapists Pam Stolz and Lynn Turk and Det. M. Driscoll of the Trenton Police Department. The Team meets bi-weekly to discuss the progress of each Participant, to review program policy and evaluate program outcomes.
Sobriety Court is designed to be a four phase comprehensive treatment program for non-violent offenders charged with alcohol or drug-related offense, who have a substance abuse history, and are likely to continue a pattern of criminal activity because of their addiction.
The program’s mission is to improve public safety through judicially supervised treatment that rehabilitates substance-abusing offenders and strengthens their families.