In November of 2015, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin came to White River Junction, VT to observe the Windsor County DUI Treatment Docket. The visit provided the Governor a ground-level opportunity to witness participants discussing their recent program successes and challenges with presiding Judge Nancy Corsones. Following court, Governor Shumlin took time to share words of respect and encouragement with program participants to continue their commitment to a life of recovery.
The DUI Docket is a dynamic post-sentence program, requiring a guilty plea for admission. Participation in the DUI Docket lasts from 18-24 months and requires that participants have at least six months sobriety prior to completing the program. The DUI Docket model is based on intensive treatment and intensive accountability with the end goal of helping participants make deep and long lasting lifestyle changes that support full sobriety and lead to safer roads.
In order to be eligible to participate in the Program, the offender must be a Windsor County resident meeting the above criteria and be at a moderate to high risk of reoffending. In Vermont, the reoffending DUI population is considered to be one of the most lethal populations involved in corrections in the State! Thus, helping participants close the door on potential new offenses by maintaining full sobriety is paramount.
The DUI Treatment Docket follows an evidence-based model for treating people charged with a felony level DUI and are contending with a severe alcohol use disorder. HCRS provides clinical screening, assessment, case management, and substance abuse and mental health services to DUI Docket participants. HCRS case management staff collaborate in-house and with a broad range of community partners to ensure participants are connected to an appropriate level of care and able to access needed services that complement recovery efforts.
The DUI Docket Team consists of the Judge, the Program Coordinator, Probation and Parole, Law Enforcement, HCRS Case Management staff, and representation by Defense Counsel and the State’s Attorney. The DUI Treatment Docket is the only stand-alone docket of its kind in New England. To date, two participants have graduated from the DUI program with more graduations anticipated in February 2016. The DUI Docket team is working on opportunities for program alumni to mentor active participants in their growth into sobriety and ultimately, an improved quality of life. HCRS is proud to be a team partner in a program that embodies integrity and commitment to the health and safety of Vermont residents.