Nevada County Drug Court makes success story | TheUnion.com

Nevada County Drug Court makes success story

The probation officer said Trent Crovo has been booked into jail 37 times.

Crovo was 17 when officers arrested him for the first time. The Grass Valley man is now 35, said Melissa Blais, deputy probation officer with the Nevada County Probation Department.

Blais expects that pattern will formally end today, when Crovo graduates from Drug Court.

“Everyone in Drug Court has a suspended prison sentence,” Blais said. “It’s a type of diversion program. As of (today), he’ll be a graduate and that sentence will go away.”

The graduation is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today at the Nevada County Courthouse, 201 Church St., Nevada City. It’s open to the public.

Achieving this goal has been a trial for Crovo, who Blais said declined comment. Facing drug charges in 2016, Crovo opted for Drug Court. He went through the 26-month program with no positive drug tests and no probation violations, the probation officer said.

“It’s pretty remarkable,” she added.

Drug Court participants visit the Probation Department once a week. Additionally, officers visit their homes once or twice each month, Blais said.

What it takes

According to Public Defender Keri Klein, Drug Court is available only to people who live in Nevada County, face felony charges in this county, have a high risk of reoffending and a large need for resources to prevent reoffending.

Participants are evaluated to determine what treatment they need. That can include job training, mental health counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy. They also must pay restitution to their victims and perform community service, Klein said in an email.

“For those who are skeptical, I’d say come and watch court,” Klein added. “You will see that the participants are more closely monitored and required to jump through more hoops than they would have had they taken a non-Adult Drug Court sentence.”

Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said that in the past some authorities have used an approach of one size fits all — lock up offenders. Drug Court shows that people can change, which reduces crime in a community.

“It can really change their lives and improve society in general,” he said. “We’re accomplishing our goals as prosecutors.”

Crovo’s graduation won’t be the last. Blais said she anticipates two more participants to graduate in September.

“We’re trying to get the community more involved,” Blais said . “We’re working hard with these offenders to rehabilitate.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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