Drugs in the Rogue Valley: Part 2

Medford, Ore. — Shane Stinson is in phase two of the four-phase adult drug court, a small branch of Jackson County Circuit Court.  For Stinson, it was the choice he made after being arrested for possession of methamphetamine last November.

“When I was in jail, I thought about it a lot. Where I was going, and what was going to happen,” said Stinson. “I knew if I continued down the same road, that more felonies, and more trouble was going to happen.”

Now, just four months into the program, Stinson is progressing quickly, and noticing a change. He said, “It gives us a chance to change what we’ve done that’s wrong, it gives us a chance to show other people that there is a better way of living without drugs.”

Participants see their assigned judge weekly throughout the 18-month program. In phases one and two they’re assessing the participant’s condition and behavior.

Phase three means less time in court, and more time in the community doing service projects. In phase four, participants only check in with the court every month and a half until graduation.

They take part in group therapy, research papers, and even write letters to those they’ve victimized. Judge Patricia Crain calls it a well-rounded rehabilitation program.

“We talk to them about their lives, we talk to them about their sobriety, we encourage them, we let them know that we believe in them, that we know they can overcome their drug and alcohol issues, that they don’t have to live the same chaotic, terrible lifestyle that they lived previously,” said Judge Crain.

Shane Stinson said, “For a lot of people, we can’t do it on our own, so it’s a group thing.”

A group effort — put in even after graduation– a special event for everyone in attendance.

Judge Crain said, “It’s supremely inspiring and amazing, and it makes you have hope for the human race, really, because it makes you realize that you don’t have to live in the same rut that you grew up in, or that you were accustomed to as an early, a young adult.”

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