County Gets Funds to Continue Treatment Court

Governor Greg Gianforte recently joined supporters of treatment courts by announcing permanent funding for eight of Montana’s treatment courts, which are running out of federal funding.

Many people are grateful for this news. One of them is Michael Euland.

He is one of the Lincoln County Therapeutic Court’s most recent graduates. Mr. Welland, 61, was convicted of his first DUI in 1992, and others followed suit. But Wooland eventually overcame alcoholism and stayed sober for 16 years.

However, in February 2020, his father, Finney Ueland, passed away.

“It was hard on me, so I started drinking again,” Michael said.

His drinking culminated in an incident on Iron Creek Road on May 2, 2021, in which he was arrested for DUI. In December 2021, Ms. Welland received a five-year suspended sentence and was admitted to a treatment program.

After spending most of his life in Saunders County, he had to move to Libby.

“We had to find a vehicle to get to all these meetings, and I saw how the system had changed,” Ueland said. “They have come a long way in tracking you down. Alcoholics Anonymous had great sponsors. I didn’t want to do AA at first, but the AA guys have been a good support system.” and all the other good things.” People around me. “

Those included his twin sister, Marsha Westphal, friends Dale Ginger and Shauna Dillard, and the county’s therapeutic court team.

Without all these people helping him, Ueland could have relapsed after breaking his hip in a fall a little over eight months ago.

“It was a big setback, but with all the support I received, I never went back to my bad habits,” Ueland said. “Thank you so much for all your support and for letting me be part of your program.

“Mike encouraged his attorney and me to participate in this program,” Lincoln County Deputy Attorney Jeffrey Tswan said at the ceremony. “This is a tough, focused program. We are deeply involved in people’s lives. Mike’s dedication is second to none.

“And now you have health problems, but it’s great to see you here, and it’s going to be hard to miss.”

Mr. Gianforte spoke of the importance of therapeutic courts.

“We share a common goal: to keep more Montanas clean, sober, healthy, and on the road to reaching their full potential,” said Governor Gianforte. rice field. “That’s why we’re proud to announce that we’re funding eight more drug treatment courts in Montana to serve those in need and make our communities and state stronger. .”

Treatment courts help nonviolent offenders rebuild their lives through treatment, recovery, counseling, education and job placement services at a fraction of the cost of incarceration.

The governor secured funds from Congress for eight treatment courts that had lost federal funding by proposing a budget for Montana families.

These courts are the Missoula County Veterans Rehabilitation Court, Missoula County 4th Judicial District Rehabilitation Court, Park County 6th Judicial District Adult Rehabilitation Court, Hill County 12th District Drug Court, and Lincoln 19th Judicial Drug Court. treatment court. County, Ravalli County Adult Drug Treatment Court, Yellowstone County 13th Judicial Indian Child Welfare Act Family Drug Court, and Yellowstone County 13th Judicial SOAR Court Preliminary Argument.

“Obviously we’re pleased that the state has deemed our program worthy of permanent funding,” said Zack Charbo, Lincoln County Treatment Court Coordinator. “We are very grateful for the support of Governor Gianforte and look forward to continuing to provide these services to Lincoln County residents.”

The governor made the announcement on May 10 at a certification ceremony for the STEER (Temperance, Treatment, Education, Excellence and Rehabilitation) DUI Court in Billings, presided over by District Court Judge Mary Jane Nisley. Seven state court teams and two tribal court teams were present.

“Treatment tribunals offer addiction-stricken Montanas hope and an opportunity to become clean, sober, and healthy. They reduce recidivism and produce better outcomes for more Montanas.” the governor told the group. “But I know I don’t have to explain how important the therapeutic forum is. Through my work, I see results every day.”

In 2021, the governor has proposed and secured funding for five treatment courts in the state.

In Lincoln County, Welland was the 13th graduate of the program.

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