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Collaborative Courts Present May 12 Graduation Ceremony

About 288 individuals who have persevered on a path toward sobriety or successful re-entry from incarceration will walk as 2016 graduates of the San Joaquin Superior Court’s Collaborative Courts. Commencement is slated for 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at Stockton’s historical Bob Hope Theater, 242 E. Main St.

Collaborative Courts is an innovative division of Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin, which combines judicial supervision with monitoring and rehabilitation services 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 ceremony is a wonderful time to acknowledge the hard work and commitment these individuals have displayed in order to change their behaviors and overcome difficult substance abuse issues,” said Helen Ellis, Collaborative Courts Manager. “These are accomplishments that serve as a benefit to the safety and well-being of our entire community.”

The graduation program will feature:

A welcoming address by Honorable Consuelo Callahan, of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; a keynote address by West Huddleston, vice president and general manager of SCRAM Systems Inc., an alcohol monitoring solutions company and court partner, and former Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals; a graduate speech by Elodia Ybanez, a mother and graduate of Dependency Drug Court.

Also due to be presented, a poem written and recited by Parole Reentry Court graduate John Ilonummi; a Certificate of Recognition will be presented by Stockton Police to Drug Court graduate Nicole Ramirez, who rescued a one-year-old boy abandoned by his mother in an empty parking lot.

Collaborative Courts, a division fully supported by grants, operates eight programs including Drug Court, Dependency Drug Court, DUI Court, Parole Reentry Court, Post Release Community Supervision Court (AB109), Monitoring Court (AB109), Mandatory Supervision Court (AB109) and the “Choices and Consequences” prevention program, which are school presentations that aim to deter middle school and high school children from using drugs and alcohol.