HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte addressed two graduates of the First Judicial District Treatment Court at a graduation ceremony this afternoon.
“As you know better than anyone, this milestone isn’t the end of the road, but the beginning of your journey to living clean, healthy lives,” Governor Gianforte said to the graduates. “As you move forward from today’s graduation, know that you have someone in the Governor’s Office rooting for you.”
Treatment courts help non-violent offenders rebuild their lives through treatment, recovery, counseling, education, and job placement services, costing a fraction of incarceration. Three years after completing treatment court programs, 70 percent of graduates are clean and holding a job.
“Both of you reaffirm to me that we must focus on prevention and on promoting treatment and recovery for non-violent addicts, because you’re not alone. The Department of Public Health and Human Services estimates that about 64,000 Montanans have a substance abuse disorder,” Governor Gianforte continued.
Governor Gianforte campaigned on expanding the treatment court programs into more communities. His Roadmap to the Montana Comeback budget provides funding for five treatment courts across the state, and makes a historic investment in combating substance abuse through the HEART Fund.
With addressing the drug epidemic being a top priority for the governor, he asked Judge Mary Jane Knisely, who started a treatment court in Yellowstone County in 2010, to administer his oath of office on January 4.