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Support toward Legal Standing and Court Advocacy

Courage to Change has been a tireless leader in educating the judicial and criminal justice systems about the brain disease which underlies alcoholism and addiction. Our voice has joined a host of social and scientific spokespeople who advocate a rehabilitative rather than a punitive model of treating victims and their families.

Professional Legal Advocates Will Act on Your Behalf

Cycle of Crime

Now many judges and probation officers are joining the groundswell, concerned by prison statistics and the "revolving door" of addiction/incarceration. And increasingly, judges and probation officers are directing "the accused" to become, not a burden on the taxpayers, but a healthy, productive citizen, capable of doing much good in the world.

On the individual level, C2C legal advocates support residents through the legal process. Professional legal advocates accompany clients to court and we work with attorneys, district attorneys, law enforcement, parole officers, probation officers, and public defenders...to ensure our clients have a chance of negotiating the path of justice as part of their recovery.

Defense Attorneys - Professional experienced legal advocates will assist client's attorneys in developing a strategy to provide an adequate defense to present to prosecuting attorneys and or probation departments. A Judicial Report is prepared based on the client's brain imagery assessment, neurotransmitter levels at baseline and at one and three month intervals. A review of the client's compliance is also included. If the client is on a mix of pharmaceutical drugs, a list of potential side effects will be included to educate the court on the damage those medications are causing to client's physical, mental, and emotional health.

Judges - Judicial Reports are presented to the judges presiding over the client's case. Science based evidence is included in the report to educate that addiction is a disease of the brain that can be managed and treated. Many times the court is more lenient with people who are in recovery. Courage to Change is prepared to follow protocols set forth by the judiciary.

Probation Officers - C2C follows all supervised probation guidelines. Judicial Reports are also provided to the probation officer outlining the client's progress. C2C is prepared to follow any protocol set forth by probation departments; i.e. substance monitoring, and progress reports.

Many residents at Courage to Change Ranches have legal issues, as part of the general deterioration of their lives. And most of them have children, who suffer from the addiction of their parents. Often, these children have been removed from the home - separated from their natural mothers and fathers. The Courage to Change staff also works with the courts to help keep families together.

Addicts Should be
Sobered Up - Not Locked Up

About half of the inmates of Colorado jails and penitentiaries are incarcerated either as a direct result of their addictions (e.g. "too many DUI's" or "possession") or indirectly (e.g. "crimes against property" or "domestic violence") as an outcome of drinking and drugging.

The National Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse states that alcoholism and addiction cause severe imbalances in the neurotransmitters that create thought and control behavior. An alcoholic/addict believes, with every cell in his body and every neuron in his brain, that his/her survival depends on his use of alcohol or drugs.

"The circuits involved in punishment and reward are circuits that are in our brain in order to motivate behaviors that are indispensable for survival, such as finding food finding a partner, taking care of children.

And drugs activate exactly the same circuits, but in much more efficient ways. When a person becomes addicted, those circuits basically signal to the brain the equivalent of a signal 'you need to do the drug in order to survive'.

So the person that is addicted in that process seeks the drug not out of pleasure, but out of need."

-Dr. Nora Volkow, Director
National Institute on Drug Abuse