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Ogle DUI Court receives court approval

The Illinois Supreme Court recently approved the certification of the Ogle County New Horizons Specialty Court Team’s DUI Court Program.

DUI Court is as problem solving court with a mission similar to Ogle County New Horizons Drug Court (established in 2009) to reduce the ripple-effect cost of substance-related offenses, hold offenders accountable for their behaviors and prevent recidivism.

The DUI Court will do this through an increased level of supervision, addressing the intensive individualized recovery program of each offender, and facilitating them to become productive, responsible Ogle County community member.

“DUI Court is a team approach, consisting of specialized disciplines surrounding the criminal justice system and treatment community, “ said Brooke Plachno, Ogle County Specialty Court Coordinator.

DUI Court Presiding Judge Clayton Lindsey said, “There are numerous reforms taking place in the Criminal Justice System. Many of these reforms are premised on the recognition that sending people to prison does not necessarily work. While there will always be a certain part of the ‘criminal sector’ that deserves and warrants imprisonment, it is costly to the State.”

More importantly, Lindsey said, studies show that many people who are sent to prison simply come out better criminals and without any rehabilitation.

“As such, they go directly back to the habits they had before prison and far too often become repeat offenders. The problem solving courts serve to redirect the money the State expends on the prison system to rehabilitative treatment,” he said. “The model suggests that there are a wide variety of reasons that people become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Many of these reasons are not necessarily motivated by criminal thoughts, but are reflective of addictive behavior.”

“If we spend our resources teaching, training and providing basic skills on coping, remaining sober, rebuilding families, and the benefits of living life with purpose, we can change that addictive behavior and turn people that we used to refer to as ‘criminals’ to productive members of society. As a judge, it is easy for me to endorse the concept of problem solving courts because it leads to productive lives, stronger families and fewer repeat offenders,” he said.

Members of Ogle County New Horizons Specialty Court Team include Clayton L. Lindsey, DUI Court Presiding Judge; Ben Roe, Drug Court Presiding Judge; Eric Morrow, Ogle County State’s Attorney; Dennis Riley, Public Defender; Brooke Plachno, Coordinator; Brigette Beckman, Probation Officer; Brian Peterson, Probation Officer; Emily Roemer, Probation Officer; Kevin Buss, Sinnissippi Centers; Brian VanVickle, Ogle County Sheriff; Lt. Jason Lynn, Ogle County Sheriff’s Department; and Dr. Adeyemi O. Fatoki, medical doctor.

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