Recidivism in Guam adult drug court program one of the lowest in the nation

Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena III (PNC photo)

A proclamation signing was held Thursday to commemorate the month of May as Guam Drug Court Month.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero presided over the proclamation signing.

Treatment courts have been the most successful justice system intervention for individuals dealing with substance abuse and mental disorders.

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of treatment courts, with the Superior Court of Guam establishing the first drug court in 2002.

The honorable presiding judge Alberto C. Lamorena III opened the virtual signing with his remarks, stating that Guam’s adult drug court program has been beneficial to many of its participants.

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“The adult drug court program has been with us since 2002, and we’ve had many, many people graduate and the recidivism rate in the adult drug court program is one of the lowest in the nation and I am very proud of that,” Lamorena said.

Treatment courts have improved many of Guam’s systems, with areas impacted such as education, employment, and financial stability, to name a few.

According to Lamorena, many of Guam’s citizens are interested in participating in the adult drug court program. Unfortunately, individuals would need to be arrested and charged to be eligible for the program.

However, Judge Lamorena says that he is hopeful for an alternative that does not require individuals to enter the criminal justice system.

Governor Leon Guerrero echoed Judge Lamorena’s hopeful statement, saying that the best way to combat Guam’s substance abuse problem is to make programs like the adult drug court program more accessible.