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MAYS LANDING - The Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage will hold recovery court graduation ceremonies June 25 for 143 participants who have completed the program.

Cape May County’s ceremony will be held June 26 at 9:30 a.m. at Cape May County Technical High School, 188 Crest Haven Road, Court House.

Atlantic County's graduation will take place June 25 at 1:30 p.m. at Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 5080 Atlantic Ave., Mays Landing.

According to a release, “This year we have the largest number of graduates in New Jersey recovery court history. We have 143 people who are sober, working and, most importantly, have totally changed,” stated Recovery Court Judge Mark Sandson. “Change is the most difficult thing there is, and recovery from addiction constitutes a fundamental change of the whole person.”

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, who will discuss employment as evidence of recovery and change, will give the keynote address at the Atlantic graduation.

“It’s no secret our world is facing new challenges, new health crises, and it’s up to all of us to begin looking at outside-the-box ideas and alternatives that will get us toward our goal of a healthy workforce,” Asaro-Angelo stated.

Yolanda H. Allen, assistant director for the Office of Youth Programs at the Department of Labor, will be the keynote speaker at the Cape May County ceremony. Allen will discuss how jobs and job training are key components to stability for recovery court participants as well as for young people in New Jersey.

“Recovery court has proven to be an invaluable program by preparing its participants to be successful upon completion. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development remains committed to working collaboratively with our recovery court partners to ensure that these graduates have access to career development opportunities,” Allen said.

Stockton University and the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office will receive “Partner of the Year” presentations for their contributions to the success of the recovery court program.

Recovery courts operate within the existing Superior Court structure to treat nonviolent drug offenders.

Recovery court programs are rigorous, requiring completion of four phases of intensive drug and alcohol treatment and testing.

Participants comply with all treatment recommendations, gain employment, obtain a GED if not already attained, and demonstrate a payment of court fines.

The vicinage’s recovery court program has 840 participants.

To learn more about the vicinage’s recovery court program or the graduation ceremony, contact Cape May County Recovery Court Coordinator Sherry Phillips at 609-402-0100, ext. 47444.

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