The Drug Court Program is a Program put on by Metropolitan Court to help people coming in and out of jail to try and get there life together. One way of helping with this program is a person will be referred if they could be referred at the time of a plea or an offer made to the person by the state. This program has been helping many get there life back on track but how useful is this program? Recently the program had a name change from “Drug court” to “Recovery Court.” The program consists of 2 judge and 5 probation officers who work together to get defendants on track.
The expectations of the program are high and this program has been put in place since 1997 to ensure that our community is safe. In order to find out more about the program and find out from the public to see if they think this is a beneficial program, I reached out to 2 individuals and interviewed them on their points of view and how they think the recovery court program is going. In the Recovery Court program there have been thousands of participants and around 2,700 have graduated successfully from this program.
This first interview I had was with Esperanza Romero. Esperanza Romero works as a Monitor at the Metropolitan Courthouse. I interviewed her on a Monday during my lunch hour. Due to Covid Esperanza has been working from home and was only able to do her interview by phone. At the end of the interview, I asked her if she could take a picture for me for my piece she gladly did and it’s located at the end of this piece. We proceeded onto the interview I asked Esperanza what or if she knew about the program, she stated she did. She went on to explain that working at the courthouse for about 13 years she had witnessed that it made and impact on defendant’s lives. She said, “I like the program because I feel it really helps people to get their act together.” Esperanza expressed to me that for the program to be so successful it had to be because “everyone puts in their grain of salt.” “I feel we all work together to make things happen and our courthouse has done this for these defendants.” “I think this program is so successful because everyone in the program takes the time to do their part.” I was really impressed by how much Esperanza knew about the Recovery Court program. The reason for this is because she does have friend a probation officer that is in the Program and monitors these defendants. Esperanza told me that at times she heard the stories on the record and was moved by defendants come out sober and clean and really get their lives together. The interview with Esperanza lasted about 30 minutes due to her schedule and my schedule.
Next, I moved on to interview Sonia Salazar it was the next day which was a Tuesday again during my lunch hour which is noon. I asked Sonia the same questions as I had asked Esperanza. She stated that she didn’t actually know much about the Recovery Court Program. I asked her what do you know? She said, “I know that this program is supposed to help with getting people back on their feet once they get out of jail.” “l also know that they have to come to customer service to get certain information on how to do their community service for the program.” I proceeded to ask her more questions. The interview with Sonia was also about 30 to 40 minutes long. Due to Covid Sonia expressed that she thought the program might have a slight impact because so many people had to stay home and telework. I asked her if she felt like certain numbers went down or what were her thoughts on this Covid situation with the program? She said, “Well, I feel that obviously if people can’t come in how are they supposed to know what to do or if the offer is even there? And if it is how are people supposed to know when to show up for certain hearings even if it’s on zoom it’s not the same.” I let Sonia know that I agreed with all of her statements then I wondered if the Courthouse would put out this information for the public to know specific numbers dropping or rising due to Covid.
In regard to the Recovery Court Program, we find that it is really useful to our community. This program serves the community and is there to provide results to keep down crime and cut down on drug use. The program is useful to all defendants even at times when some of those defendants don’t want a change, we find that these defendants turn out changing their lives for the better and they keep it that way. At times defendants send follow up on how they are doing and their families. This program has showed to be successful for the people by the Judges and Probation officers involved in the program.
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30 Minute Writing Assignment (Dan McKay)
Professor Gwyneth Doland Parker
30 Minute Writing Assignment
The Government meetings have to happen publicly when they are setting new policies for the public. These meetings are open to the public and you could usually find these meetings online as well as the agendas that are needed for these meetings before hand. If you do get to attend a meeting you need to know beforehand what you will be writing about. It’s beneficial if you know also who is doing what and who is who in these meetings. Usually you can’t quote someone if you don’t know who they are. You need to know who you are quoting. Dan McKay “You cannot quote anyone unless you know how to spell their name.” Spelling is crucial to your report if you have to write a report.
Dan McKay works as a journalist for The Albuquerque Journal “The Beat” He graduated from his class in 1999. Dan McKay came to talk and educate students on meetings and what he does as a journalist when he writes his stories or is doing his coverage. In this video he lets us know what is good to point out in the begging of stories what to look for in people and what happens with the public while attending one of these meetings. Dan McKay attends 4 meetings in a month. He is always prepared knows what he’s doing what he’s looking for and knows who to cover on what public stories. Dan McKay knows what technology he needs to use to cover his stories “I use my iPhone” “I write what time it is.” Dan McKay wants students to know what key points to write about in a story and wants students to know how important it is to be organized and prepared when going into one of these meetings. Dan McKay doesn’t use a recorder anymore because everything is archived online so he goes back if he needs to. Usually he writes his story while the meeting is happening.
Dan McKay talks about certain officials and their behavior in a meeting. In these meetings officials are aware of reporters and journalists their attitude and behavior are different when they know a reporter is in the room because that certain official wants the reporter to know their side of the story and to make sure that the reporter got the correct information on the story. These meetings are very important for officials and for the public. At times there are certain agencies that don’t get too much coverage or no coverage at all. Later it is found that these companies have or run into a lot of problems.
There is a time when the public is allowed to testify. Sometimes you have individuals that have bizarre things that they say at the podium. Dan McKay says that it’s important to follow thru with investigations unless it’s not important because some people are a little crazy. There are some people that make false claims or false accusations and they’re there at every meeting and he knows some of those individuals so he won’t follow up with those accusations because those people don’t have proof of their accusations. The public tends to be harsh at times when they testify. To Dan McKay this is the most interesting part of the meeting.
There was a question from a student on if Dan McKay needs to identify himself. He made it clear that one as a reporter/journalist must always let the public know who you are because things will be published in the news and you don’t want people to be shocked or surprised for certain stories that he has covered. Dan McKay always checks his stories at times if questioned he checks his story 3 times to make sure his story is correct. Introduce oneself all the time and state if you’re off or on the record.