Fundraiser to benefit local Drug Court

CTSC
Historic City News was asked to announce that the Community Support Treatment Corporation will hold their first annual fundraiser this Friday. This special event, titled “Candle Lights to the Future” is to support the St. Johns County Drug Court Program.

The Candle Lights to the Future will be held this Friday, September 19th at the Casa Monica Hotel, in downtown St. Augustine. Tickets are $100. Social hour is from 6:00-7:30 p.m. which includes a silent auction and then dinner beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a cake auction and spectacular door prizes including a seven night Caribbean Cruise for two.

The first drug court in the nation was established in Dade County in 1989. The concept was developed from a federal mandate to reduce the inmate population or suffer the loss of federal funding. It was determined that a large majority of criminal inmates had been incarcerated because of drug charges and were revolving back through the criminal justice system because of the underlying problems of drug addiction. It was decided that the delivery of treatment services needed to be coupled with the criminal justice system and the need for strong judicial leadership and partnerships to bring treatment services and the criminal justice system together thus forming drug court.

Drug Court began in St. Johns County in November 2002 and in the first year 63 participants entered the program. Since that time 208 residents have participated in the local program. A typical participant in the program has abused illegal substances for many years and has been arrested for felony offenses several times. Many participants may have otherwise been sentenced to prison however violent offenders are not permitted to participate.

Drug Court participants benefit by becoming empowered through counseling, rehabilitation and life skill changes. The program is vital for our county because it establishes healthy community relationships among our citizens and ensures less crime on our streets. Although Drug Court saves money, the program has limited funding from state and county tax dollars. With grant funds expiring, this fund raiser is a local effort to continue the program in St. Johns County.

For additional information on the program, contact coordinator Ralph Cumberbatch at 827-5620. To order tickets for the fundraiser, please contact Frances Colon at EPIC at 829-2273.

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