Travis Jones, one of Extended Aftercare, Inc.’s former clients and active participant in the EAI Alumni Association, was one of 12 recovering men and women who were awarded diplomas from the Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) Drug Court Program on Tuesday, March 6, 2010 at 3 p.m. The ceremony was held in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the top floor of the Harris County Court House.
On hand at the Graduation Ceremony were Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, 262nd Criminal Court Judge Denise Bradley, 189th Civil Court Judge Bill Burke, 183rd Criminal Court Judge Vanessa Velasquez, 180th Criminal Court Judge Marc Brown, former State District Judge Caprice Cosper, several defense attorneys, probation officers and other county employees plus a litany of counselors, supportive friends and family members and other STAR Alumni and clients. Extended Aftercare, Inc.’s Chief Operations Officer Steve Boon, Marketing Coordinator Anthony Davis and Client Compliance Officer Joe Cyr were also in attendance to support Travis.
The ceremony started with a brief welcome and explanation of STAR followed by a short keynote address. When the event rolled onto the presentation of diplomas, the raw emotion of grateful recovering men and women who have come from facing serious prison time to living a life they never imagined was electric. When asked if he could summarize the benefits of the STAR Drug Court process and everything he has been through to get to where is is today, Travis stated:
“This program helped me learn how to be accountable and responsible again. In the beginning I had to report everyday to see my Judge and report everything I had been doing. Slowly but surely, I started to earn more and more freedom by proving that I was doing the right thing. STAR Drug Court held me responsible for my actions until I learned how to hold myself accountable. When I made it to Extended Aftercare, my personal recovery program continued to grow. Today I have the new ability to face the world with confidence because I know I am doing the right thing. I have all the tools and support I will ever need to continue a happy and healthy sober lifestyle. The most amazing thing I have today because of STAR Drug Court and Extended Aftercare is the peace of mind that comes with not being afraid of who I am.”
Extended Aftercare, Inc. has had the opportunity to work with several STAR clients over the last few years, all of whom have remained in recovery since completing the 90 day Residential Treatment Program at EAI. We are excited about continuing to build our relationship with STAR because we truly believe in the work they are doing. Many people in and around the recovery field agree that there is little hope for addicts and alcoholics who are incarcerated for crimes committed that relate to a person’s addiction. While some people do truly need to be punished for their crimes, there are many more that are victims of the disease of addiction and need help rather than punishment. The STAR program represents a new way of helping those who cannot help themselves find a new, sober and productive lifestyle.