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Innovative L.A. court program helps women get off drugs and turn their lives around

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Innovative L.A. court program helps women get off drugs and turn their lives around

This week I want to introduce a new blogger:  Taylor Armstrong, star of the hit reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and one of the co-owners of the Malibu Beach Recovery Center.  Taylor has worked for a leading pharmaceutical company and has a B.S. in Biology so she understands the neuroscience behind the disease of addiction.  Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Taylor approved.jpg 

Taylor also works closely with victims of domestic violence and runaway youth through her volunteer efforts for the 1736 Family Crisis Center. She has seen the devastation that occurs in families where addiction is present and hopes her connection to Malibu Beach Recovery will prompt addicts to seek treatment and stop the cycle of addiction and abuse. 

Taylor has witnessed addiction up close and personal.  Last year, she and her husband, Russell Armstrong, sent one of their family members through the Malibu Beach Recovery Center’s 90-day treatment program.     

Taylor will be writing regularly about addiction-related subjects of interest.  She chose to begin with a salute to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and his successful program for women addicts.  

Joan Borsten 

 

Innovative L.A. court program helps women get off drugs and turn their lives around

By Taylor Armstrong 

Once in awhile you read a story that makes you say, “Y-e-s-s!  Way to go.”  Recently Victoria Kim, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, wrote an article about a meth addict who call herself “Orange” and the court program that saved her.

Judge Michael Tynan, who presides over the Los Angeles Superior Court, used to be a public defender. The 73 year old Army veteran takes on “populations that others have given up on,” the article says, including women parolees like Orange who have been in trouble due to alcohol and drug abuse.

Tynan runs a program called the “Second Chance Women’s Re-entry Court Program” that allows women to plead guilty for their crimes and enter rehab rather than return to prison. That’s not to say he’s a softie; if a woman fails rehab, she’s jailed. What he gives the women is hope and a chance to turn their lives around by eliminating the addiction that fuels their criminal behavior.

Orange’s story is both heart-breaking and uplifting. She had a very difficult childhood, started drinking and smoking marijuana early, graduated to other drugs and then took on meth. Petty crimes and jail followed and she was incarcerated time and time again. In attempting to escape after her latest crime–burglarizing a Hollywood Hills home–she jumped off a cliff, broke her back and shattered her foot.

When she landed in Tynan’s court, she was sure he was going to send her back to jail immediately, but instead he gave her a chance. She entered rehab but acted out, went to jail for 30 days and was assigned a motivational essay project.  Then, a light bulb went on over her head. You can guess the ending—she turned her life around.  I love stories like this.  It’s worth reading in full so you can truly appreciate Judge Tynan’s innovative approach to women who need a second chance.Thumbnail image for gavel.jpg

Orange is only one of the many women helped by this program and this inspirational judge.  By rehabilitating mothers, Judge Tynan is paving the way for their children to succeed and avoid the tragic consequences of addiction and subsequent criminal behavior. We need more programs like this around the country. Bravo Judge Tynan and way to go, Orange!

 

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