The Orange County Collaborative Courts and its Foundation are recognized as among the best and most innovative in the nation.
Assistance League of Laguna Beach grant to Collaborative Court Drug Court provided scholarships for participants
On Thursday, Jan. 22, Assistance League of Laguna Beach President Judy Soulakis presented two Collaborative Court Drug Court participants with scholarships. The scholarships were funded by the $20,000 grant given to the Collaborative Courts Foundation (CCF) by the Assistance League.
The Community Mental Health Journal has released the first published study on Veterans Treatment Court and the results are outstanding. Researchers from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services tracked 86 veterans involved with Veterans Treatment Court, all of whom were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“When I got back from Iraq, I had a hard time adjusting. I was emotionally numb. I didn’t care about my family. I didn’t care about myself. I found life to be meaningless. I was filled with hate and anger.”
Her voice barely audible, the mother stepped to the podium to address the court. “Sobriety is the greatest gift I’ve ever had,” she said. As the woman spoke, Judge Matthew Anderson, 54, beamed. And when she finished, like others in the packed courtroom at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, the judge broke into applause.
Most guests took the South Pacific theme to heart at the Collaborative Courts Foundation’s second annual fundraising dinner at the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach.
Orange County’s growing homeless population poses special problems for the Superior Courts. To deal with those problems the county has set up a Homeless Outreach Court system. It’s designed to help get people off the streets and save the county money.
Some military veterans have collided with the criminal justice system. There are now more than 90 courts across the U.S., nine in California, tailored to veterans who are willing to work to get back on track.
When you walk into the room with its six rows of walnut-stained, pew-like benches and raised dais, it feels like you’ve entered a chapel. And for veterans like Jesse Paredes who have gotten into trouble with the law, it has been a place of redemption.
Victoria Montgomery was 14 when she took her first drink. By 16, already graduated from high school with a bright future, she smoked marijuana.
Veteran by veteran, Orange County, California, Superior Court Judge Wendy Lindley is dispensing justice with tough talk and a little cheerleading to the former servicemen who’ve returned from war in Iraq or Afghanistan.