WILMINGTON — Sandra Lamb was recognized April 28 as the second graduate of The You-Turn Recovery Docket in ceremonies staged at the Wilmington Presbyterian Church.
The specialized docket, a program within Clinton County Common Pleas Court, is designed for offenders addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs.
Lamb’s graduation came on the eve of National Drug Court Month, commemorated every May, and less than a year after David Key, the innovative program’s first enrollee in December 2015, became its first graduate in July 2016.
Key, who has remained drug free, was in attendance to welcome Lamb to the docket’s alumni club.
Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck, head of the docket treatment team, was master of ceremonies and Wilmington College graduate Charles “Eddie” Philabaun III, executive director of the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, was the keynote speaker.
STAR is a community-based correctional facility attended by many common pleas defendants and drug docket participants, including Lamb.
Lamb was admitted to the docket during the program’s first year in October 2015 and has not had a drug use violation in nearly two years after years of admitted drug abuse. Lamb was awarded her graduation certificate by Judge Rudduck and a special medallion commemorating the achievement by Linda Woolums.
Woolums, who was recognized as a special volunteer by the docket in 2016, became a confidant and supportive friend for Lamb during her time in the program.
Lamb thanked Woolums, Judge Rudduck, her treatment providers, and her family and friends for her continued recovery and gave special acknowledgement to Ka’Shira Myburgh, her court supervision officer. As she once did during one of her regular court status review hearings, Lamb also performed a rap song she composed which recalled her drug use and efforts to stay clean.
Judge Rudduck provided a program update and also recognized the progress of 21 other participants in attendance, a third of which are on track to graduate this calendar year. He also recognized members of the docket treatment team as well as those members of the docket’s advisory/steering committee who were in attendance.
Philabaun concluded his motivational message for the 100 or so in attendance by saying that participants were lucky to have a professional and caring court team. “You men and women are very fortunate to have a probation chief like Stephanie (Blust) and a department who care about you the way Stephanie, Ka’shira, Molly (Countryman), Brian (Noah) and Jeff (Lemmons) do,” Philabaun said. “They truly care about your well-being. Remember, they nor the judge expect perfection, but they do expect a perfect effort. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and I can tell you that they and Judge Rudduck are some of the best in the business!”
Philabaun also acknowledged the professionalism of his own leadership team at STAR — J.T. Holt, John Adkins, Linda Adkins, Miranda Hosey, Ricky Carver and Mark Stuntebeck. They were all in attendance and brought along for the night the drug court participants who were involved in programming at STAR.
Wilmington Presbyterian Church Pastor Deborah Linville, another past recognized volunteer of the docket, gave the invocation, and Woolums did the benediction. Vocal music was provided by Kim Luttrell-Parks (step-daughter of docket treatment team member Ken Houghtaling) and a dinner for participants and friends of the docket was catered by McCoy’s Catering.
You-Turn Recovery Docket participants are supervised by the judge as the head of a treatment team which also includes court supervision officers and area alcohol and drug treatment providers. The team meets twice a month before status review hearings for participants that are held in the Clinton County Common Pleas Courtroom and are open to the public.
Team members in addition to the aforementioned include Dr. Michael Newman, James Crafton and Dana Dunn as well as counselors from Solutions, Talbert House and Transformative Wellness.
The program, which was re-certified earlier this year through 2019 by the Ohio Supreme Court, is designed to last a minimum of 18 months, but every participant proceeds at his or her own pace, depending on how they succeed with alcohol and other drug treatment and court supervision conditions. Participants must also abstain from alcohol or drug use for at least a year before becoming eligible to graduate.
To ensure accountability, participants are regularly and randomly tested for substance use, rewarded for meeting goals, and sanctioned for not meeting clearly stated obligations.
Many people from the community regularly attend the status review hearings to lend support to the participants, including those from local churches and others battling addiction who want to share their stories and offer encouragement.
Many of that same group attended graduation, as did Advisory/Steering Committee members Eleanor Harris, Katy Wright and Scott Reinbolt.
For more information on the docket, go to www.you-turn-drug-docket.org, follow it on Facebook at You-Turn Recovery Docket, like it on Twitter at You-Turn@UturnDrugDocket, or call 937-382-4276, ext. 1141. Charitable donations can also be made to the You-Turn Recovery Docket fund, c/o Clinton County Foundation, Peoples Bank Trust Department, P.O. Box 831, Wilmington, OH 45177.