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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Hastings

Five People Successfully Complete Hillsborough County Drug Court Program

MANCHESTER, NH - A graduation ceremony was held for five individuals who have completed the Hillsborough County Drug Court.

Honorable Judge Amy Messer recognized the accomplishments and commitment the participants have made, some taking almost three years to complete the program successfully.

Drug Court is a progressive approach to addressing addiction within the criminal justice system. Established in 2000 amidst the backdrop of the opioid crisis, the initiative aims to break the cycle of substance abuse and criminal behavior by prioritizing rehabilitation over incarceration.

Felony drug court programs for adult offenders are available in Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough (North and South), Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties.

A defendant who enters those drug court programs must reside in the County where drug court is offered, in addition to having committed the crime in that county.

Structured as a collaborative effort between the judiciary, law enforcement, treatment providers, and community organizations, the Drug Court operates on the principle that addiction is a public health issue deserving of compassion and support rather than solely punishment.

Upon entering the program, participants undergo a thorough assessment to determine their treatment needs. They are then placed on individualized treatment plans, which may include counseling, drug testing, vocational training, and educational opportunities.

Progression through the program is marked by phases designed to promote personal growth and accountability. Participants must meet specific milestones related to their treatment and rehabilitation, with close supervision and support from the court, case managers, and peer mentors.

Research indicates that participants in drug court programs are less likely to re-offend or relapse into substance abuse compared to those who undergo traditional sentencing.

By addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior, such as addiction and mental health issues, the court not only reduces recidivism but also enhances public safety and saves taxpayer dollars by reducing incarceration rates.

The program's emphasis on rehabilitation fosters empowerment and dignity among participants. Many individuals who may have felt trapped in a cycle of despair find hope and support within the Drug Court community.

Graduates Include:

Michael Robillard, who entered the program in January 2023

Ian Forsberg, who entered the program in October 2021

Josh Fournier, who entered the program in July 2021

Eric Wyatt, who entered the program in September 2021

Benjamin Sherman, who entered the program in September 2021

All the graduation participants have obtained new coping skills, created excellent positive supports, and learned better ways to handle stress in their daily living.

They have employment and homes, are reunited with family, and are positive additions to the community.

Additional photos available for free download at -

© Manchester Information LLC


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