Storytelling: Four lives. One last chance : A year in Drug Court.
The story is about four people struggling through an innovative program called Drug Court, which married law enforcement and treatment. The program gave addicts the help they needed to kick their habits, while making the courts and judges partners in their recovery. If the addicts failed, they would go to prison. But the idea was to alleviate the overburden courts and jails by treating addiction as a disease – not a crime. The four people represented all facets of the evils of addiction: Jennifer’s children were taken from her after she had spent years smoking crack. Linwood lived on the streets, sold drugs and even robbed his own mother to pay for drugs. Linda had contracted HIV while working as a prostitute to support her habit. Vernon, a naturally intelligent and witty man, had spent four of his 28 years behind bars because of his heroin addiction. All four of them had committed crimes and shattered countless lives while using drugs. The goal of story was to humanize the face of addiction while educating a public that usually saw addicts like Jennifer, Linwood, Linda and Vernon as morally corrupt people unworthy of its attention and consideration.
Copyright Daniel Sangjib Min / Daily Press