Marsha Wagstaff welcomed members of the Six and Twenty Club into her home on March 23. President Judy Johnston conducted the business meeting and turned the program over to the afternoon’s leader, Mary Ann Raizk, who reviewed the book she is passing in the club this year, entitled “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D.Vance.
Vance tells the story of his life, growing up in Middletown, Ohio, coming from a long line of “hillbillies,” brought up with Appalachian values of loyalty and love of country but with a dose of violence and verbal abuse. His parents divorced and his mother became addicted to opioids. His mamaw became the constant in his life.
Fast forward to joining the Marines, graduating from OSU and Yale Law School. He has come back home to Ohio and now runs a non-profit called Ohio Renewal, working on problems of drug addiction and poverty.
Mrs. Raizk said that in 2016 there were 4,000 deaths in Ohio due to drug overdose. She introduced Judge Tim Rudduck who is at the ground floor of the “You-Turn” Recovery Docket in Clinton County. He was tired of seeing the same people appear in court for possession of drugs or because of alcohol or drug-related offenses, being sent to prison and then coming out and being recycled into the same court system.
Judge Rudduck began to see the drug-addiction as a health issue instead of a moral issue. He began looking into forming a drug court, and with the help of a grant, gathered a team of professionals to help people in a recovery program which began in the fall of 2014. To avoid incarceration, the participant must call in to the court and be ready to pass a drug screening test, every day for 12 months.
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. Right now there are 23 in the program with nine graduates since the program began. Rudduck says there is a sign in the courtroom that says, “I don’t require perfection, but I do demand honesty.” The public is invited to attend the You-Turn court on the first and third Fridays of the month at 1:3 p.m. Everyone in the club was moved by the judge’s passion and sincerity for this project.
After a successful book exchange, members were invited to the tea table festive in spring decor to partake of cupcakes, lovely cut-out Easter cookies, nuts and candy.