DeKalb County Recovery Court staff of both the adult and juvenile programs attended the Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals (TADCP) annual statewide training in Chattanooga, TN December 7-9, 2016. Program Coordinator Norene Puckett was on this year’s conference committee.
The conference hosted a Recovery Art Exhibit in which artwork was solicited from Recovery (Drug) Court participants across the state with the prompt “what does recovery mean to me?” DeKalb County Recovery Court had 5 pieces submitted.
During the opening ceremony, DeKalb Recovery Court participant Michael Blanchfield shared his story of addiction and his journey through recovery while crafting a coat rack that is typical of his work in his business Rustic Recovery. Michael said during his presentation, “at one time this coat rack was put together, just as my life once was. Now it is in pieces, which is what my life had become due to drug addiction. Through the recovery court program, my sponsors and mentors, I have been able to put my life back together, just as I have this coat rack.” The finished product was given away as a door prize at the conference.
Following Michael’s speech was the key note address from TN Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark. Justice Clark congratulated Michael on his story and success. She also noted many highlights in the last four years of the programs throughout the state, including the name change from drug court to recovery courts to be more inclusive of all the types of treatment courts throughout the state (i.e. veterans court, drug court, DUI court, juvenile drug court, etc.) and to show the positive aspects of the programs. She closed her talk by thanking all of the professionals who work with offenders with addiction and/or mental health issues to once again become, “the best persons they can be, so that they will be productive citizens in our communities.”
While at the conference, Norene Puckett was elected on the Board of Directors for TADCP as the Middle TN representative and Case Manager Rhonda Harpole was selected to be on next year’s conference committee. TADCP is a statewide 501-(c)-3 not-for-profit organization with an office located in Nashville, Tennessee. TADCP supports recovery courts by providing training, technical assistance, education, legislative advocacy, resource sharing and networking opportunities for recovery courts and their partners. TADCP is committed to reducing substance abuse, crime, and recidivism in Tennessee by promoting, advocating, and supporting recovery courts and individual TADCP members in their efforts to provide a quality therapeutic community that promotes positive change in criminal and addictive behavior for the purpose of transforming offenders into positive, contributing members of our communities.
In other news, DeKalb County Recovery Court hosted its 7th annual Children’s Christmas party at New Life Connection Center on December 13, 2016. Each year the program gathers donations to provide presents for the children of the adult participants. The program staff, participants, and their families enjoyed a meal together and a special visit from Santa Claus! That night, three program participants were presented with framed certificates and recognized for having one year sobriety. The program would like to give a special thanks to Smithville Church of Christ, New Life Pentecostal Church, Haven of Hope Counseling, The Purple Porch, Todd Hasty of Premier Realty, DeKalb Community Advisory Board, and the private citizens of DeKalb County for their contributions to this year’s party!
Pictured at conference with Christmas Tree:
Kay Quintero, John Quintero-Haven of Hope Counseling, Tom Vickers- Sober Living Services, Rhonda Harpole-Case Manager, Molly Webb-Endeavor Program Juvenile Case Manager, Norene Puckett-Coordinator, Holly Baugh-Probation Officer, Tish Mccloud-DCS Probation Officer, Sara Hoenstine-DCS Probation Officer, Allison West-Asst. Public Defender, Richard Williams-Youth Services Officer, & Kristy Longmire-Case Manager.
Participants with Certificates with Judge Bratten Cook II:
Jeremy Woodard, Nelda Bandy (in black), Christy Berry (in pink)
Michael Blanchfield holding the finished coat rack