Supporting Hope and Healing: Judge Wiles’ Recovery Court
Peer Recovery’s Vital Role in the Courtroom
Within the halls of the Recovery Court, helmed by Judge Latecia Wiles, a powerful transformation is unfolding. And at the heart of this transformation are peer support specialists, known as recovery coaches at OneEighty. In a recent interview, Judge Wiles shared valuable insights into the inner workings of Recovery Court, with a particular focus on the crucial role of peer support.
How Do Recovery Coaches Support Navigating the Legal System?
OneEighty recovery coaches effectively offer peer support – because they have experienced success in their own recovery process. Our recovery coaches work alongside clients experiencing mental, emotional or substance use challenges as they navigate the legal system. Having guidance and support from someone who has “been there” is what many in recovery value the most about peer support services. Beyond personal experience, they’ve earned the credentials to offer active support. As part of an integrated care team, OneEighty recovery coaches work alongside the local judicial system, Children’s Services, healthcare providers, social workers, and case managers.
Their knowledge, experience, and support can help guide clients in the following areas:
- Connect clients with vital support resources – including health services, supportive housing, social services, education assistance, employment assistance, health services, legal aid, and more.
- Offer emotional support, crisis intervention and relapse prevention.
- Identify personal strengths that can help clients achieve recovery goals.
- Develop self-confidence and advocacy skills.
- Help to build stronger relationships and support networks.
- Provide practical assistance – to helping clients live, work, and participate more fully in their communities.
A Glimpse into the Recovery Court
Recovery Court is a unique initiative in Wayne County designed to address Children’s Services cases involving parents grappling with substance use disorders. “It’s a voluntary program offered to parents who have open abuse, neglect, and/or dependency cases in the court,” Judge Wiles explained. Unlike typical cases with the agency, Recovery Court is a voluntary program that comes with additional requirements, with which participants must be willing to comply. Judge Wiles emphasized the need for unwavering commitment, as participants must appear regularly before her in court for a year – especially during the initial phases when they must attend weekly.
Recovery Court Requirements
The program convenes weekly sessions involving a multidisciplinary treatment team, comprised of members including the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Wayne County Public Defender, Wayne County Children’s Services Board, OneEighty, and A New Day. This collaborative team cooperates across their respective agencies to deliver continuous treatment and assistance to parents striving to reunite with their children or address underlying issues within their homes. Participants in Recovery Court bear a comprehensive set of responsibilities, including:
- Completion of Case Plan Services – Participants must fulfill services outlined in their case plans.
- Treatment Adherence – Participants must adhere to treatment recommendations.
- Frequent Court Attendance – Initially, participants are required to attend court weekly, with fewer appearances as they progress.
- Regular Meetings – Participants engage with a Recovery Court coordinator, case worker, and a peer support specialist/recovery coach.
- Mandatory Sober Support Meetings – Attendance at three weekly sober support meetings is mandatory.
- Sponsorship Requirement – Each participant must secure a sponsor.
- Reconnect Program Participation – Participants are obliged to check in daily for screening.
Judge Wiles’ Perspective: “We all have our struggles, and I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. Don’t look at all the requirements you have to do for me next week. Just keep doing what you’re doing and keep doing the next right thing.”
Benefits of Participating in Recovery Court
Recovery Court requirements provide participants with a comprehensive support network and essential tools for their journey to recovery. Participants gain an exceptional opportunity to have a one-on-one audience with the judge each week, allowing them to showcase their progress and commitment. This personal interaction significantly influences the outcomes of their Children’s Services cases. Judge Wiles underscored the advantages of participating in Recovery Court: “We provide financial assistance, and we can also grant additional visitation privileges for participants when their children are not in their custody.”
Justice meets Empathy
Recovery Court participants earn incentives as they make progress. Incentives range from additional visitation time with their children to essential items donated by the community and recovery books to support their journey. These incentives serve to encourage progress and help participants regain stability in their lives.
Judge Wiles shared her perspective on the role of positive reinforcement in the Recovery Court – a program that goes beyond the courtroom. She continues to reach out to the community for donations. “Recognizing that most of these people have lost everything, we ask for donations – from bed sheets and kitchen supplies to toys for the kids and backpacks filled with school supplies,” she explained. “We aim to provide the essentials.”
Measuring Success – Recovery Court’s Impact
Judge Wiles contends that, nationally, success rates for treatment courts can be challenging to achieve. “Recovery Court participants benefit in the long term, even if they don’t graduate,” Judge Wiles explained. “The program can help to expedite permanency for the children involved. I can also help to ensure prompt adjustments to court orders.”
In the end, the central focus of Recovery Court revolves around family wellbeing and successful parent-child reunification. Judge Wiles explained that the ideal is that participants advance through Recovery Count with fewer court appearances as the process continues.
We’re here to support you.
We help people change direction with programs for addiction, domestic violence, rape crisis, mental health, housing, and prevention and education. At OneEighty, we actively support an evidence-based approach to sustainable recovery from trauma and addiction – restoring dignity and purpose, reimagining potential, and rebuilding lives. OneEighty offers counseling programs, intensive addiction treatment programs, group addiction treatment, residential services, victim services, recovery housing, and peer recovery.
For those encountering a substance use crisis please call OneEighty’s Substance Use Crisis Hotline available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year at 330-466-0678. For other resources, click the links below: