Ellis County holds 2nd Drug Court graduation

Drug Court Press Release
Graduates, left to right, Tyler Luecke, Tara Rollins, and Earnest Johnson, with Drug Court Judge Glenn Braun, and graduates Nicole Mekelburg and Cory Coil, with Drug Court Coordinator Teresa Greenwood.

The 2nd graduation of the Ellis County Drug Court was Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Ellis County Courthouse.

This intensive treatment court program takes many months of hard work and determination by the participants and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments.

Other drug court team members besides Greenwood and Judge Braun are Intensive Supervision Officers Erin Geist, Trevor Roa and Kyle Bartling from Northwest Kansas Community Corrections, Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees and Assistant County Attorney Aaron Cunningham, Attorney Curtis Brown, Jobeth Haselhorst with the Smoky Hill Foundation, Amy Bird with High Plains Mental Health Center, Detective Brian Shannon with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, Detective J.B. Burkholder with the Hays Police Department, and newly added team member Nick Eiden, Drug Court Case Manager.

The first graduation was December 2019, when six participants completed the program.

The five-phase program aims to treat an offenders’ drug problem, keep them out of jail, and give them the tools to not return to their former habits.

Drug Court, while a part of an offender’s sentence with strict requirements, is often informal in its proceedings when it meets every two weeks in Braun’s second-floor courtroom of the 23rd Judicial District.

The Ellis County Commission granted the program $30,000 in seed money in 2018. It then received a three-year federal grant for $406,366 from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. That helps pay for drug treatment programs for those sentenced to Drug Court.