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Feb 29, 2016 6:45 PM

Strafford Country drug court holds graduation for people trying to overcome addiction

NH1.com

DOVER - The state's founding drug court held another graduation ceremony, celebrating the progress and sobriety of six people in recovery that were chosen to participate in a strict program rather than commit to prison time.

The Strafford County Drug Court was founded in 2009 and today it averages 70 people in various stages of completion.

"I think this program saved my life," said graduate John Bolz.

Advocates say it lowers recidivism rates, and benefits taxpayers by sending fewer offenders to prison.

"It makes corrections sense, it makes taxpayer sense and it helps those to get their lives back on track," said Chief Justice Tina Nadeau.

Nadeau said only about 22% of drug court graduates are likely to wind up in prison again, but for those not in the program the average is 60-70 percent.

I'm Right now there is pending legislation in Concord that would require the state to pay half the costs for drug courts, counties would cover the remaining expenses.

Colleen Shaughnessy is a multimedia journalist for NH1 News. You can email her at cshaughnessy@nh1.com and follow her on Twitter, @ColleenNH1.

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