News Item
Hennepin County Drug Court Honors Graduates

Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2009

Graduates from the Hennepin County Drug Court celebrated their successful completion of a 12-month program led by Fourth Judicial District's problem-solving drug court judges Peter Cahill and Toddrick Barnette at a program held in the Hennepin County Government Center.  The 23 graduates, surrounded by family, friends, probation officers and staff listened to Chief Justice Eric Magnuson remark in his address that the judiciary is "committed to support drug court funding."

The objective of Hennepin County Drug Court is to reduce criminal recidivism among chemically dependent participants that are at high risk to re-offend, reduce illegal drug usage and improve community function in the areas of employment, education and housing.  To be eligible, participants must reside in Hennepin County, complete a screening process and agree to intensive supervision.

The 12-month program used to facilitate short- and long- term behavioral change is measured by a point system using three phases.  Requirements include at least 120 continuous, sober/clean days; complete treatment and aftercare; attend 50 12-step meetings; have a 12-step sponsor; complete community service work; have no pending criminal charges; pay all program fees; and  have full-time work or school.

A national study conducted by the Urban Institute, a non-partisan economic and social policy research organization in Washington, D.C., concludes that 84 percent of drug court participants did not have any criminal activity within one year of graduation.

About the Fourth Judicial District

The State of Minnesota's Fourth Judicial District serves only Hennepin County and is the state's largest trial court with more than 750,000 cases received annually.  For more information, visit the website at

(left to right) Judge Toddrick Barnette, Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, Judge Peter Cahill

Chief Justice Eric Magnuson (back row, right) and Judge Toddrick Barnette (front row, right) pose with graduates from Hennepin County Drug Court.