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Drug Court marks 36th graduate


   A court room celebration March 24, honored Gustavo Terrazas, the 36th participant to graduate from the Jefferson County Drug Court Program.
   The program, coordinated by Tom McKee, involves an intense schedule of treatment, drug testing, court appearances and participation in 12-step recovery groups.
   Graduates are rewarded with their original felony charges being dismissed and they can petition the court to remove the arrest record as well.
   Completing the program is not an easy task, but according to a program evaluation, two years after graduation, offenders who participated had 58 percent fewer arrests for property crimes, 75 percent fewer arrests for felony person crimes, and 80 percent fewer probation and parole violation arrests.
   In Terrazas' case, since he began the program on April 11, 2007, he has: Invested over 232 hours in Drug Court requirements, including -- attending 20 Drug Court sessions, submitting 77 random urine tests (of which all were negative for drugs or alcohol), attending 66 treatment sessions, and 97 12-step support group meetings.
   In addition, Terrazas has maintained full-time employment, and paid his $400 court-imposed Drug Court fee and his treatment costs to BestCare Treatment Services.
   Terrazas, who speaks Spanish, was fortunate to have had BestCare's Programa De Recuperacion, so he could go to treatment appointments in Madras and complete treatment in his native language.