A Monroe County resident was among the most recent group of 10th Judicial District Recovery Court graduates last Tuesday.

Recovery court is an approximately 18-month intensive outpatient rehabilitation program for people with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.

The graduation ceremony was hosted by Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Freiberg, who noted this ceremony was the first formal recovery court since March 9 due to COVID-19. Tiffany Turpin was the local graduate from the program.

“Today is a blessed day, it is graduation day, but I want to take a moment to recognize not only our graduates but everyone here for recovery court. We talk about this being a wholistic change change program about bettering our lives and how we cannot stop life events ... It is a matter of whether we are internally strong enough to withstand life’s adversities,” said Freiberg. “You all have gone through and overcome adversities during this pandemic ... I really think you all deserve a lot of praise for that.”

Participants in recovery court took part in virtual sessions instead of in-person groups due to the pandemic.

“You went from being in a location with your peers with a support system 21/2 hours a day, three days a week, to basically calling in two to three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes,” he noted. “All of that was adversity, all of that created hardship for everyone. I think the biggest blessing was reopening things back up from a treatment perspective.”

Freiberg stated the program holds a 22% failure rate.

“That is amazing. That means that 78% of the time, if you are here, then you are going to make it,” he exclaimed. “Of that 22% failure or elimination rate, 80% are people who have new arrests, new criminal charges or just don’t show up and those are things that are in your control.”

Freiberg also had praise specifically for Turpin.

“Tiffany Turpin had zero unexcused absences during her tenure here at recovery court,” said Freiberg.

“She did, however, struggle in the beginning with anxiety and shyness. She initially had a difficult time opening up in treatment and in court, eventually she learned that we all only wanted the best for her and was able to open up just a little bit and share more of herself with others.”

She was able to develop “strong friendships” within the group.

“She worked through some tough family issues and regained custody of her daughter,” he noted. “She is now living a healthy lifestyle with her daughter, family and friends. We are very proud, all of us as a team, of the woman that Tiffany has become and our door is always open and welcome to her.”

Her family was present during her graduation ceremony.

“I just want to say thank you to the judge and to the drug court team,” said Turpin. “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

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