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Collaborative Courts Graduation Ceremony
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Over 350 participants of the Collaborative Courts have successfully completed one of the court rehabilitation programs at San Joaquin Superior Court. On Thursday, May 9 this achievement will be celebrated with a commencement ceremony at 4 p.m. at Stockton’s historical Bob Hope Theater, 242 E. Main St.

“We’re excited to celebrate this momentous point in the lives of our clients, who continue to conquer the monster that is addiction, as well as break the cycle of criminal behaviors,” said Helen Ellis, Director of Collaborative Courts. “It is our belief that even one changed participant means a safer community, one more reunited family and an example to so many. We’re proud to have 350 transformations.”

Collaborative Courts is a division of the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin, which combines judicial supervision with monitoring and rehabilitation to reduce recidivism by addressing issues that contribute to criminal behavior. With the goal of improving public safety and client outcomes, these courts also are known as problem-solving courts.

The graduation program will feature keynote speaker, comedian Jim Trino.

Trino grew up in Bakersfield, where he worked on his father’s farm. He loves athletics and competed in swimming all the way through high school. He earned a BA in theatre from Cal State Northridge and minored in physical education. During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Trino competed in World Cup speed skiing. An addiction to drugs and alcohol brought all that to a halt. He experienced 20 years of addiction, spending time in jail and institutions. After a two-year prison term and a couple of violations, Trino earned a degree from the California Department of Corrections. He has now been sober for 19 years. Learning to laugh at his mistakes brought him to the world of comedy – a world he might not have ever seen if he hadn’t fallen and been helped back up by the program of Narcotics Anonymous. Stand-up comedy is a side effect of his experiences, and has been an important part of his recovery process.

Collaborative Courts, a division fully supported by grants, operates 10 programs including Accountability Court; Drug Court; Dependency Drug Court; DUI Court Track I; DUI Court Track II; Parole Reentry Court; three AB109 reentry courts – Compliance Court, Monitoring Court, Mandatory Supervision Court; and the “Choices and Consequences” prevention program, which consists of school presentations that aim to deter middle school and high school students from using drugs and alcohol.