Crow Wing County Drug Court Hosts Hog Roast Fundraiser
“If you feed them, they will come,” said Crow Wing County Drug Court Coordinator Jill Mckenzie.
That was the idea behind the 2nd annual hog roast to support Crow Wing County’s Drug Court, a program that has helped over 100 residents overcome addiction. However, the court does not accept people with violent crime charges or first-degree offenses.
“We do have some that have been to prison in the past for their drug offenses,” Kaye Wilson, Drug Court Probation Agent, said. “We try and help them stay in the community, and maybe learn a different way of life.”
It’s a 22-month program that helps people not only get sober, but stay sober.
“For the first time in my life, like even in my other recoveries, they’ve gone the extra mile to make sure not just that I’m sober, but all the areas of my life have changed,” Drug Court Participant Kristina Abear said. “I feel good about who I am today. It’s definitely a better alternative than going to jail or prison and coming back out and having to do it all on your own.”
For six dollars, people can come and get a pulled pork sandwich, their choice between either coleslaw or potato salad, and then cookies, chips, and a drink, all to support the drug court. The money from the fundraiser is used to put on events for the drug court participants.
“We get to go on sober events, where it’s just so much fun, 100 percent sober, and we have a ball,” Rebecca Tadych, a Drug Court Graduate, said.
The program has profound effects with the participant’s family as well.
“This is important because it doesn’t just affect the offender themselves, it affects their whole family,” Wilson said. “It’s watching the kids change as their parents get clean and sober, it’s how it affects so many members of the community. It’s amazing to see the lives that are touched by this.”
Drug court research reflects that for every one dollar spent on drug courts, there is a savings of 10 dollars due to reduced jail time, but the participants of drug court have to be willing to change.
“You learn how to be real, and they don’t give up on you, unless you choose to give up on yourself,” Tadych said. “That’s what I have found with participants who have and hadn’t made it in the program. They won’t give up on you unless you give up on yourself.”
Drug Court is more than just a “get sober” program as it has been changing people’s lives for over ten years.
“If you picture dropping a pebble in the water, and how that spreads out, that is what our program does,” Mckenzie said. “We just don’t move them through the program, they are improving their life.”
The Crow Wing County Drug Court has changed the lives of one hundred people since 2006. For more information, visit https://crowwing.us/761/Drug-Court-Program-Its-Phases.