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Background

Mission

The Mission Of The Friend Of The Drug Court - Judge Rosinek observed a viscous cycle. Addicts and alcoholics get arrested, get clean and sober through the Drug Court sponsored recovery programs, and then find themselves with no place to live.  If a person is homeless their chances of maintaining employment are significantly reduced. Once the job is lost, alcohol or drugs will soon follow, which inexorably leads them directly back to the criminal justice system, and all too often, far more serious or violent crimes.

History

Jeffrey Rosinek

The Miami-Dade County, Florida Drug Court was the first of its kind in the nation and was pioneered by the Honorable Jeffrey Rosinek, Senior Circuit Court Judge. Authorized by the Florida legislature, the Drug Court permits those arrested on non violent drug offenses to navigate the court system without having a permanent conviction record. (Visit the Miami-Dade Drug Court Website Now From This Link)

Those eligible for drug court are generally charged with possession or purchase of illegal substances. Defendants who have a history of violent crimes, have been arrested for drug sales or trafficking, or have more than 2 previous felony convictions are typically ineligible. The clients are then referred by the prosecuting authorities to the Miami-Dade County Drug Court which is a branch of the Circuit Court and is currently overseen by sitting Circuit Court Judge the Honorable Deborah Labora-White.  The Drug Court offers the arrested addicts and alcoholics an opportunity to seek treatment for their addiction and permits the these people the opportunity to have their charges dropped if they successfully complete the imposed treatment conditions.

However, even the successful completion of the drug court program was usually not enough for many of the drug court’s clients to get a new “lease on life” because many of those defendants who successfully completed the program had no place to call home.  This is what led to Judge Rosinek’s vision.  In June of 2003, Judge Rosinek, then Circuit Court Judge and administrative head of the Miami-Dade County Drug Court had a vision of forming a group of concerned citizens to assist both the Court and those unfortunate addicts that found themselves in the Court system.  Based on the Judge’s experience with dealing with those afflicted with alcohol and substance addiction, he was and is aware that most addicts and alcoholics will “hit bottom” prior to beginning their long road to recovery. Unfortunately, the bottom that most severe addicts and alcoholics hit is that they have lost their jobs, alienated their family and friends, become homeless and then arrested. It was Judge Rosinek’s frustration with the homelessness of those who successfully completed his rigorous drug court program that led to his vision to create a fund of money that could be loaned to successful graduates of the drug court program to assist with housing.

During his tenure on the Drug Court bench, Judge Rosinek would often see addicts and alcoholics who successfully completed the Drug Court program and were on their way to recovery only to find that, although clean and sober and in recovery, the recovering addicts and alcoholics are still homeless which all too often leads them to return to alcohol and drugs. Judge Rosinek strongly felt and feels that if these recovering addicts and alcoholics had stable housing their chances of long term recovery and return to the work force would increase dramatically.

To this end in July of 2003 Judge Rosinek and Attorney Richard Baron, a recovering addict and alcoholic for almost 18 years, formed the Friends Of The Drug Court, Inc., a Florida Non Profit Corporation, as an entity to provide a source of funding for housing loans and educational grants to qualified recovering addicts and alcoholics who have successfully completed the Drug Court.