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Rogers County Drug Court impacts recovery

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

Every other Friday afternoon, the Drug Court Docket consists of individuals trying to make a life change.

Judge Sheila Condren listens to each individual guiding his-or-her recovery through her rulings.

The dockets, which seems to be normal court procedure to the casual observer, are proving to be anything but.

Condren has reached drug offenders on a different level and seeing success in the process.

Drug Court does not normally take first time offender,s and is governed by state statutes, but the program is giving many a second chance.

There are strict limits on the ability of the court to work with first time offenders.

The following quotes and comments were made by actual participants in the program during a recent court hearing. No names have been provided to protect their identity.

Story after story, the participants or clients report their progress to Condren at the mandatory court hearing.

The program is very structure, according to Condren.

The requirements for participants are much more demanding then just serving time with the Department of Corrections.

The Drug Court Program is rehabilitating drug offenders, but most importantly as demonstrated in one afternoon, it is changing lives.

Each participant takes a few minutes before the judge to report his or her progress.

Story after story unfolds as the participants talk about how the problems in life impact drug addiction and recovery.

“I have never been put on my feet just to have someone else knock them out from beneath me,” one man said as he revealed that he likely would be sentence to prison by another county.

The man has been working in the Rogers County Drug Court system and with the jail ministry.

He reports that he is 519 days sober, yet on going legal battles in another court may put an end to his recovery.

“I was raised without a dad because he was in prison I don’t want my daughter to go thru the same thing,” he said.

He pleads to the court, not to be removed from his accountability, but for advice on how to deal with the situation.

Condren is patient and kind as she explains that he has learned to cope and overcome. Despite the challenges, he will find a way to survive and continue his recovery.

The judge is understanding but firm, always explaining that the participants are responsible for their own lives.

She challenges them to know specifically how many days they have been sober, as a reminder of where they have been and where they are going.

After only 15 minutes,many different stories were told.

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