Clallam County Drug Court ceremony today

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PORT ANGELES — The 250th Clallam County Adult Drug Court graduate will be among those recognized at a ceremony open to the public at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Ken Williams will preside over the ceremony for three graduates.

It likely will be the last ceremony for Williams, the initial champion of the program.

Williams, who will retire from the bench at the end of the year, has presided over every graduation since the Adult Drug Court was implemented in 1999.

He recently received the Washington State Drug Court Professional Association’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Williams spearheaded a local effort to win a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to start the Clallam County Juvenile Drug Court in 1997.

In 2004, Clallam County had the first high-risk DUI court in the state.

The Drug Court program offers those charged with nonviolent crimes who are chemically dependent or addicted to drugs the opportunity to receive a minimum 12-month-long treatment program closely supervised by weekly court hearings.

Participants waive the right to a jury trial and stipulate to facts sufficient for a finding of guilt in order to participate.

Graduates have their charges dismissed, but any restitution owed to victims must be paid before graduating.

Those who fail to graduate are convicted and sentenced.

Those charged with violent or sex offenses or whose crimes involved firearms are not allowed into the program.

Drug courts are estimated to save taxpayers more than $2.50 for every $1 spent on the treatment program.

Last modified: November 27. 2012 5:37PM
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