The state's first adult drug/DUI court will be twelve years old on Jan. 5 - and there's going to be a party!
Burleigh County Deputy Sheriff Shar Schuh will be awarded the drug court's distinguished service award for the role she has played in befriending drug court participants as she assists with probation monitoring.
Members of the Bruce M. Van Sickle Inn of Court will receive the drug/DUI Court Partner Award for their annual hosting and support of the drug/DUI Court party. The Inn of Court is a group of lawyers and judges who strive toward excellence and civility in the practice of law.
The Bismarck - Mandan drug/DUI Court began operation on Jan. 5, 2001. The celebration of the achievements of the first 12 years will be held Friday, Jan. 4, at 8:30 a.m. at the Burleigh County Courthouse.
2012 has been a year of change for the drug/DUI Court. Judge Bruce Romanick joined the drug/DUI Court team when Judge Bruce Haskell decided to step back. Mark Kemmet, a probation officer with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, became the coordinator for the drug/DUI Court.
The drug/DUI Court has 25 participants at the present time. All the participants are non-violent chemically addicted individuals who have pleaded guilty to drug or alcohol offenses. The program was planned and initiated through the leadership of the Department of Corrections.
One hundred and thirty-two people have successfully completed the program. Two hundred and fifty-one have been involved in the program - 178 men and 73 women. 123 were sentenced to drug/DUI Court as part of a driving under the influence sentence, 128 were sentenced for drug offenses or drug-related offenses.
Participants attend court sessions each week and are involved in intensive treatment and probation programs. They are tested for drug and alcohol use several times each week. They are required to work, attend school or do community service 40 hours each week.
Each participant makes an appearance each time they appear in court and discusses their progress with the judge. Participants move through three phases of the drug/DUI court program and earn incentives as they progress. During the later phases, the number of court appearances and the intensity of supervision decrease. A minimum of a year in the program is required for commencement.
District Judges Bruce Romanick and Gail Hagerty are the drug/DUI court judges. They are assisted by Referee John Grinsteiner. Mark Kemmet is the coordinator and probation officer for the program and Elise Hocking coordinates treatment services, which are provided through West Central Human Services.
December 27, 2012