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News Release

A.B.C. Drug Court Graduate Celebrates Sobriety

September 30, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE

PLEASE CONTACT KATHY BLAHA, (702) 267-2052

Henderson, Nev. – Stewart Meyer is sober for the first time in over 55 years thanks to the Assistance in Breaking the Cycle (A.B.C.) Drug Court. A recent graduate of the program, Mr. Meyer starting drinking at age 16 and for the first time since then, he has remained sober for over a year as part of the program’s requirements.

A.B.C. Court was developed by Judge Douglas Hedger of the Henderson Municipal Court to help rehabilitate repeat misdemeanor offenders. He found that many of the repeat misdemeanor crimes are related to long-term drug and alcohol addictions, as well as mental health issues. Many offenders also struggle with homelessness and are in need of life skills training. A.B.C. Drug Court focuses on these underlying issues and provides resources to help turn lives around.

Mr. Meyer has a misdemeanor criminal history with 71 arrests and had spent over 600 days in jail over the course of time. He was referred to A.B.C. Drug Court after facing a trespassing charge and 6 months in jail.  As a condition of his probation he successfully completed the program about a year later. “I used to dread waking up each morning,” he said. “Now I enjoy getting up every day and I look forward to the rest of my life.”

Participants of A.B.C. Drug Court undergo court-ordered counseling, drug testing, court appearances and a requirement of daily contact with a case manager. They live in a court mandated sober-living environment and are required to obtain job skills and conduct daily job searches until they find employment.  If they complete the program, their lives are changed. If however, they fail the program, they receive the maximum jail sentence.

“We’ve seen a remarkable change in Stewart,” says Judge Hedger. “Of all our participants, he has spent the most time in jail and now he’s become a productive crime-free citizen.”

Stewart continues to attend daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and has obtained a reinstatement of his veteran’s benefits. He says, “It’s hard for me to express the way I feel now. I haven’t been sober in 55 years. Now all these good things are happening and my personal affairs are starting to fall into order.”

Mr. Meyer is one of 24 graduates since the program’s inception in 2008. As defendants successfully complete the program, lives are changed, criminal activity ceases, homelessness is addressed and Henderson streets become safer. For additional information on partnering with the A.B.C. Drug Court program, please contact Toni Barden, Henderson Municipal Court, at (702) 267-3354.

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About City of Henderson: Incorporated in 1953, Henderson is Nevada’s second largest city with more than 270,000 residents. Henderson is a premier city, nationally recognized for its stunning parks, trails, master-planned communities, outstanding quality of life and patriotic past. Celebrating the city’s 60th anniversary in 2013, Henderson has been recognized as one of America’s Best Places to Live (MONEY: 2012, 2008, 2006), one of America’s Best Cities (Business Week), and the Second Safest City in America (Forbes). Henderson is a progressive and vibrant city committed to maintaining premier amenities and services for all who chose to live, learn, work and play in Henderson…a place to call home.

 

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