Gallatin County Treatment Court will be holding its annual Christmas celebration on Friday, Dec. 20.
The celebration is to honor the participants’ commitment to changing their lives.
Treatment Court starts at 9 a.m. in Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown’s courtroom at the Law and Justice Center, located at 615 S. 16th Ave. in Bozeman.
“Treatment Court Christmas is a very special event. It is an opportunity to celebrate the ongoing success of our participants, some of whom have not celebrated Christmas in years,” said Judge Brown.
“Prior to Treatment Court, their lives revolved around drugs, alcohol, and jail. But this year, with the support of the Treatment Court team, our participants are clean and sober. They are employed, and they have stable residences. And they are free to experience the joy of the holidays with their friends and family,” he said.
At the Christmas celebration, the 18 current participants will receive gifts and treats provided by Belgrade Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 12112, Friends of Treatment Court (a group that gives financial support to the program), as well as other citizens of Gallatin County.
Gallatin County Treatment Court was the first adult treatment court in the state and is now one of 31 drug courts across Montana.
Started in 1999, Treatment Court is an 18-month voluntary program that is an alternative sentencing for adult offenders whose crimes were motivated by substance abuse.
Participants receive treatment for chemical dependency and mental health issues. Among a number of things, participants are required to attend addictions counseling, mental health therapy and support groups, as well as submit to frequent drug and alcohol testing, report weekly to a case manager and perform community service.
The five core values of Treatment Court are honesty, integrity, responsibility, sobriety and service.
Brown also voiced his appreciation to the Gallatin County Commission.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Gallatin County commissioners for their continued support of the Treatment Court,” he said. “Their emotional and financial support is greatly appreciated.”
The program is managed by a team that includes:
Judge John Brown, Gallatin County District Court
Steve Ette, Director of Court Services
Eric Kitzmiller, Chief Deputy with Gallatin County Attorney’s Office
Kirsten Mull-Core, Attorney
Dr. Jim Murphey, Psychologist
Vicki Deboer, Clinical Supervisor with Alcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County
Jared Poole, Probation and Parole Officer for Montana Department of Corrections
Kelley Parker-Wathne, Treatment Court Coordinator