Beginning a New Chapter in Life Following Drug Addiction

Eight Graduate from Drug Treatment Court Program

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) It was standing room only Friday inside a Luzerne County courtroom. Many of the people there committed crimes that were motivated by drug addiction. But this story is not about punishment -- it's about redemption. The I-Team's Andy Mehalshick has the story.

  Most of the time when we report from this court house it is about a story that is not so good. But today is very different. Many of the folks who came here today were caught up in opioid addiction. But they made it through a tough program that some tell me saved their lives.

 Jason Janosczyk of Mountain Top  summed up the program "If it wasn't for this program there's no doubt in my mind I’d be in jail or probably dead right now. “ And that's what we heard over and over again from the folks in this Luzerne county courtroom. Eight people graduated from the Luzerne County treatment court program..

Kelly Cesari, is the  Luzerne County Treatment Program coordinator "It's an intensive program that takes a minimum of 12 months and involves frequent court appearances intensive supervision with probation. Frequent drug testing and intensive drug and alcohol treatment.” People who commit non-violent crimes are eligible for the program. Crime s like burglary and theft that are often carried out to support a person's drug addiction..

This program allows people to avoid jail and clear their criminal record.

"What we do is try to turn their lives around so they become law abiding productive citizens in the community."’ Said Judge Joseph Sklarosky, Luzerne County Judge.

23 year old Anthony Carannante of Nanticoke says he now has a second chance at life.  "In the beginning I didn't think it would work but in the end it worked out good. I see a lot of things for what they really are now."

Jason Janosczyk from Mountain Top was also caught up in the thrones of drug addiction "Two and a half years ago my life was nothing but jail and rehabs and almost death. Today I can hold a fulltime job and i have my family back."

Nearly 200 people have graduated from the program since it began in 2006. Only about half of those who enter make it through because it is so intense. The district attorney as well as the crime victims must sign off on a person's entry into the treatment court program.

 

 


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