CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Good Wolf Treatment Court will celebrate the program’s 22nd graduate and mark five years of continued success as an alternative to incarceration during a special ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 1. The public is invited to attend the program, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Courtroom 5 of the Franklin County Judicial Center, located at 14 N. Main St., Chambersburg.
“Problem-solving courts combine accountability, science and healthy, honest living to rehabilitate offenders,” said Judge Jeremiah Zook. “Graduates of this program have everything they need to avoid returning to a life of crime.”
Good Wolf Treatment Court began in April 2017 in response to the opioid epidemic in Franklin County. The program is a collaborative effort of the probation department, law enforcement, mental health services and treatment counselors. It offers criminal defendants a rigorous and challenging alternative to incarceration, promoting sobriety, recovery, honesty and accountability.
To be eligible, individuals must first be screened and recommended by the Franklin County District Attorney. From there, they are required to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment by a clinical provider, accept responsibility for their criminal conduct, and agree to a sentence that may include jail time along with treatment.
Participants initially appear in treatment court every two weeks so their progress can be closely monitored. Community service is a condition of participation. Honesty and accountability are key components of Good Wolf Treatment Court. Participants can receive incentives or sanctions that coincide with their good or bad behaviors.
To date, 103 individuals have entered into Good Wolf Treatment Court since its inception; 22 have reached graduation – a testament to the program’s strict requirements as well as the challenges individuals face in recovery. The program continues to prove a combination of accountability, engagement, honesty, treatment and life changes can save lives while reducing the associated costs of prosecution and incarceration.
“Good Wolf Treatment Court graduation is one of those rare times, like a civil wedding or adoption proceeding, where something truly positive and uplifting occurs in the courthouse,” said Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal. “I encourage community stakeholders to attend our graduation ceremony in order to show their ongoing support of our graduates – and fellow members of the community – and to formally recognize the success he has shown to date in his lifetime journey of recovery.”