Twelve individuals graduated Tuesday from Santa Maria’s Substance Abuse Treatment Court (SATC) program at the city’s Veterans Memorial Building on West Tunnel Street. Judge Kay Kuns presented certificates of completion to the 61st class of the yearlong recovery program — a collaboration of the Superior Court, the Probation Department, the Offices of the District Attorney and Public Defender, the Sheriff’s Office, ADHMS (Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services), and UCSB.
At Tuesday’s ceremony, guest speakers honored the graduates, each of whom was given the chance to speak about their “experiences and lessons learned” while in the program, said the press release from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department. Established in the mid-1990s, “the program promotes sobriety, recovery, and stability,” the statement outlined.
Comprised of five phases, the Treatment Court focuses on “intensive treatment, probation supervision, and court reviews” of nonviolent drug offenders charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes, according to the Probation Department release and the Superior Court webpage. Defendants enter the program on a pre-plea basis after being identified as potential participants by probation officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. After successful completion of Treatment Court, participants may have their charges dismissed or their probation terminated early, according to the department.