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Drug court members to help animal shelterTell North Platte what you think

An outdoor area at the North Platte Animal Shelter will be improved on Saturday, thanks to the work of participants in the Midwest Nebraska Drug Court Probation.

A small section between two shelter buildings will become an area where dogs and people considering adoption can interact and get acquainted.

Drug Court participants as well as probationers in a Moral Recognition Therapy group will provide the labor. As part of their court terms, these men and women give back to their community through volunteer service.

Court coordinator Steve Garcia and Drug Court probation officer Kayla Kappers are supervising the work day.

Members of Paws-itive Partners will provide lunch for Drug Court and MRT probation workers.

The is having a community service work day Saturday, Oct. 19.

Drug court is a four-phase program of rehabilitation. The first phase is the toughest and lasts at least four months. To move on from each phase, members must stick to individual schedules, test clean and show they are making changes.

Each phase can last longer than the minimum period. Failing during any phase will result in sanctions such as jail time, tougher requirements or demotion back the start of a earlier phase.

During phase 1, members must attend three support sessions per week, be randomly tested and adhere to a 9:30 p.m. curfew. If they do not have a job, they must perform 30 hours a week of community service. Members are required to attend all drug court sessions.

To be promoted to phase 2, a member must have tested clean for at least 60 days. Random tests drop to 2-3 times a week and the curfew is extended to 10:30 p.m. Treatment and counseling requirements stay the same.

Phase 3 is a transition period for members to eventually get out of drug court. It is a minimum of 7 months with an 11:30 p.m. curfew. Phase 3 members endure fewer random tests but must show they are still making positive lifestyle changes. All incurred fees in the program must be paid to date.

Phase 4 lasts at least five months. There are no more court hearings, fewer random tests, no calls to check in and no curfew. Members must create a detailed written relapse plan, showing how they would avoid relapse or deal with it. That can and usually is a long, detailed document requiring a lot of effort.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/15/2013
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