Saturday, October 20, 2007
10/23/07: branch meeting on Ulster Regional Drug Treatment Court
On October 23 the Kingston Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) learned about alternatives to prison for substance abusers. Melissa Ortquist of the Ulster County Drug Treatment Court, an alternative sentencing project, presented to the group.
Melissa Ortquist is the Coordinator of the Ulster Regional Drug Treatment Court since its inception 6 years ago. The program is an alternative to incarceration. Substance abusers are supervised in the community, rather than serving time in jail. The program includes weekly judicial monitoring and drug testing. 99 participants have completed the program and about 45 individuals are currently in the program.
Prior to this, Melissa worked for the Ulster County Public Defenders office for 8 years as their drug based advocate, developing individualized alternatives to incarceration plans for indigent justice clients.She has also worked as an environmental and peace advocate with Greenpeace, Clearwater, and Mobilization for Survival.