County introduces sobriety court

ESCANABA — In order to help citizens of Delta County, District Court Judge Steve Parks and others are celebrating the creation of the county’s first ever Sobriety Court.

The court will focus on helping people get sober and stay sober when it comes to alcohol and drug abuse. Until today, only Delta and Menominee were the only two counties without a drug or sobriety court.

According to Judge Parks, studies over the years have shown that sobriety courts do work, saving public money and making communities safer.

“It’s a four–phase program where common components to each phase are rigorous drug and alcohol testing, counseling, support groups and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) through the duration,” said Judge Parks.

“We’ve seen this throughout the state. We’ve known that other areas have been doing it. We’ve been curious to see how it would work in our area,” said Delta Co. Sheriff Ed Oswald. “It’s giving people the tools they did. They don’t want to be on drugs. They don’t like it when they’re on drugs and people look down upon them and they’re put in jail.”

“A lot of the theories and ideas with the Sobriety Court are the same theories and ideas and we looked at with Escanaba Public Safety and local law enforcement when we introduced the Angel Program,” said Delta Co. Prosecutor Philip Strom.

In order to qualify for the program, you cannot be under investigation for any other crimes or what the court considers to be a violent offender.

There are currently over 70 drug and sobriety courts in the state.