The Yates County Courthouse, like all institutions of its kind, is rarely the scene of happy events. Most people called to appear there arrive by unfortunate circumstances, some of their own making. One event that does not fall into that unhappy lot and brings an atmosphere of celebration is when the county judge formally approves adoptions, when children are given a new chance in life with their new families.
Another court event also celebrates new chances at life – graduation from the Yates County Drug Treatment Court. And the YCDTC celebrated its 33rd graduation just in time for Christmas and the New Year; a significant time for new hope and new beginnings for us all.
Yates County Judge Jason L. Cook, who presides over the YCDTC, welcomed the four graduates Wednesday, Dec. 20, along with their families, friends, counselors, and other YCDTC participants who have helped them toward this day. Together, they have 1,867 days of “clean time.” The three men and one woman have all known Cook for several months in the less formal setting of “drug court” (as it is commonly known) but all four were admitted to the program during the tenure of the now retired Judge W. Patrick Falvey who was also in attendance for this important day. All four first met Falvey in the far more severe setting of Yates County Criminal Court, where their drug use and related crimes brought them, standing before that bench for heroin possession and even dealing drugs to other addicts to fund their own addiction.