Drug Court established in Forest County in hopes of helping addicts Submitted: 02/23/2017

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FOREST COUNTY - When people commit drug crimes, they often go to jail or pay a fine. But Forest County wants to give addicts another option for battling addiction.

The Forest County Circuit Court and Potawatomi Tribal Court have come together to help addicts.

An alternative option, a Drug Court in Forest County, will give people battling addiction a chance to change their lives through social involvement.

On Thursday, coordinators introduced the program to community members.

"Drugs and alcohol abuse are rampant in this community. There's so many like Judge White-Fish had said that we are out of foster homes. There are so many children out there that are suffering because parents and grandparents are addicted," said Wellness Court Coordinator Valerie Loduha.

The Drug Court will allow 10 people to be in the program at once.

"If we can get a couple of people to be productive members of the community, have a healthy family, and be a tax paying citizen and have an education, that's what we're looking for," said Loduha.

People in the program must be 18-years-old and live in Forest County. They can be native or non-native. They must also be someone that has had many drug cases in the past.

Community members say drug addiction is a problem in Forest County.

"That's one of the biggest issues right now. Not just in the county…in the state. Of course, you know, I've noticed it here whether they are tribal members, community members, and family members. It hit's everyone," said Forest County Potawatomi Executive Council Member Heather Vanzile.

Coordinators say the program can last anywhere between 18 months and 30 months.

The first hearing will take place next Thursday. That's where the court and district attorney will refer people to the program.

For more information on Drug Courts click on the link below.

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Story By: Allie Herrera

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