WV Power baseball let kids enrolled in juvenile drug courts atte - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WV Power baseball let kids enrolled in juvenile drug courts attend games for free

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Young people participating in two area juvenile drug courts had a chance to attend baseball games at Appalachian Power Park for free this week, thanks to the West Virginia Power.

Participants in the Putnam, Boone and Lincoln county drug courts received tickets for themselves and some family members.

Officials involved with the program say many of the juveniles live their entire lives surrounded by drugs, poverty and criminal behavior.

“By occupying as much time as possible with positive people and places, we hope to thow them that a drug-free life is possible,” said Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Justin Marlowe.

The Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit's outing (Boone and Lincoln counties) was made possible by a partnership with the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services, which operates the Tri-County Youth Report Center in Madison. The center provides treatment services to at-risk children in Boone, Lincoln and Logan counties.

“I'm proud of the partnership between DJS and Probation Services,” said Jason Wright, assistant director of community based services for the division. “The partnership makes events like this possible. We look forward to future programs, events and opportunities for the kids we serve.”

Twenty-fifth Judicial Circuit Judge William S. Thompson, who presides over drug court in Boone County, said drugs are the most serious problem facing communities throughout West Virginia. “We have to break this cycle of drugs and criminal behavior by showing the kids a better way,” he said.

Tenth Family Court Circuit Judge Scott Elswick, who presides over the Lincoln County program, points out most of the youthful participants “were raised by drug users and are programmed from birth to use drugs themselves. We have to provide a positive role model to follow and events like this accomplish that.”

Putnam County Circuit Judge Phillip M. Stowers said the Power should be commended “for (providing) this great incentive for the youth.”

West Virginia has a growing network of adult and juvenile drug courts, which are intensive supervision probation programs. Each court is administered by a local judge. Drug courts are intensive probation programs that focus on drug treatment but offer other services.

Juvenile drug court participants are usually in the program for six to eight months. Initially, a participant meets with the drug court judge weekly and a probation officer several times per week. Juvenile drug courts are intended for youths who are at risk of becoming addicted, not those who are already addicted.

Adult drug courts include those who already are addicted. Participants complete a treatment program of no less than twelve months. They are required to attend group and individual counseling, to take drug tests multiple times per week, to perform community service work, to participate in education programs, and to work on individualized rehabilitation plans as directed. They meet with probation officers frequently and see the drug court judge at least weekly