Oct 15, 2014 2:37 AM

Macklemore appears at Seattle drug court event

The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) The 20th anniversary celebration of the pioneering King County Drug Court was about half over when a famous participant strolled in and took a seat on the front bench.

The audience of drug court graduates and others buzzed at the arrival of Macklemore, but the 31-year-old rapper introduced himself Tuesday simply as "Ben." The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/58lqHZ) he told the crowd about the days when he was simply Ben Haggerty, a 15-year-old Seattle youth struggling with an alcohol and drug problem who ended up in King County's juvenile drug court.

He told the crowd that "Drug court gives people a way to get sober, to heal."

The program provides eligible defendants with the opportunity to receive drug treatment rather than incarceration.

King County's was the nation's 12th drug court when it opened in 1994. Since then, officials say 2,050 defendants have graduated and had their charges dismissed. That's a completion rate of about 70 percent.

Officials say drug courts are now a widely accepted model. There are more than 2,800 of them around the country, and they save money by treating people who might otherwise be locked up.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com


--  Dealing with the Disease of Addiction? Click here for help --

More from NH1.com

NH1 News Debates
NH1 News Replay

NH1 on Twitter

NH1 SkyView Cameras

NH1 on Facebook

Check out NH1 News Rail Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome