Fort Bend County Drug Court Commencement Ceremony--Overcoming addiction despite Covid-19

Judge Watson
Two young men ages 22 and 27, who beat the odds and COVID-19 will graduate from the Fort Bend County Misdemeanor Drug Court Program on Monday June 22.

The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. with the Judge Teana Watson presiding in County Court at Law #5 in the Fort Bend County Justice Center, Courtroom1B 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle.

“Due to the economic as well as mental anxietyand stress that the COVID-19 pandemic added to their lives, these young men still persevered in an environment where many struggling with addiction would find it difficult to cope without substances,” Watson said. That is why these graduates are to be especially recognized.

The Court, with the participants’ commitment to recovery, was able to engage and deliver therapeutic services and Judicial Interactions through teleconferences, virtual treatment sessions and virtual judicial interaction through Zoom Dockets with Judge Watson.

Upon successful completion of the program participants’ criminal cases are dismissed and expunged.

The Fort Bend County Misdemeanor Drug Court Program has been in operation since March 2006.

The mission of the program is to rehabilitate individuals who suffer from the disease of addiction and empowers participants to become productive members of the community through clean and sober living.

The program enhances public safety, decreases substance abuse, reunites families, reduces recidivism within the criminal justice system, and ultimately saves tax dollars. It is a comprehensive program which utilizes evidence based practices and includes mandatory drug testing, individualized substance abuse treatment, involvement in recovery support services, and judicial interaction with the Drug Court Judge. Participants must complete three phases of the program to meet graduation criteria.

In addition, program graduates are encouraged to participate in on-going recovery support after graduation. The program tenure is approximately twelve months.

During phase one of the program participants are engaged in individualized substance abuse treatment, random drug testing and judicial interaction.

Phase two consist of a continuation of treatment along with participation in behavioral cognitive therapy, random drug testing and judicial interaction with the Drug Court Judge. Phase three of the program includes recovery support services, random drug testing, completion of behavioral therapy, and judicial interaction.

“The program is an essential tool to help those who qualify cope without the use of substances, given all of life’s challenges, including a pandemic,” says Watson.