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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Two Friends Graduate Treatment Drug Court

Issue Date: June 28, 2017

The Marinette County Treatment Drug Court graduated two more participants Monday, June 26, bringing its total graduates to nine since the court began in 2015.

Megan Cornell and Calla Hook, who Hook said have known each other for over eight years, graduated on the same day. They knew each other before, during and now after drug use.

"It's crazy to think back on how our lives used to be," Hook said.

Cornell was accepted into the program on Jan. 19, 2015 after pleading no contest to a felony charge of manufacturing/delivering heroin (less than three grams) in October of 2014. She completed the program this year on March 20. In that time, she had 54 drug court sessions, 141 supervision sessions and 243 drug tests, accumulating 489 days of clean time.

Cornell, reflecting on her past during her speech, said, "I got caught up in that stuff when I was really young, and that's all I knew. That's all I was comfortable with" The thought of going back to that is gut-wrenching."

Perhaps most significant about her clean time was that she had a child during her stay in drug court. The child, born Oct. 27, was the drug court's first clean baby.

Treatment Drug Court Coordinator Sara Plansky-Pecor told Cornell in her speech, "We are impressed with your parenting and believe that Jackson will never see his mother under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

She continued, saying "We know he will be safe under your wing and grow up in a home filled with love and lots of recovery."

Cornell's mother, Lisa, and sister, Jessica, were among those to speak at the graduation.

"I know it was a hard road for you to go down, but you were strong" I just want you to know how proud your father and I are of you," her mom said. "I love you."

Jessica said she asked Cornell's presiding judge, David Miron, to send her to prison but "words cannot even tell you how proud I am."

She continued to say "I look up to my sister. She's someone I look up to and there's nothing in this world that would ever change anything. I'd take a bullet for her now."

"The odds of you completing this program looked pretty slim at times," Plansky-Pecor told Cornell in her speech. "You proved many of us wrong."

Plansky-Pecor continued, saying "You went from being a total rebel to being someone I could always count on to speak on behalf of the Marinette County Treatment Drug Court Program."""I share a lot of my life with Megan," Hook said about her fellow graduate. "It's a cool thing to watch somebody come so far and make a little family for themselves. To be behind her every step of the way was honestly a blessing."

Hook was accepted into the program on July 13, 2015, finishing the same day Megan did. She went through 46 drug court sessions, 79 supervision sessions and 206 drug tests, amassing 600 days of clean time since she entered the program for a felony charge of manufacturing/delivering heroin (less than three grams).

Hook's mother gave a speech as well, saying, "I'm so proud of her" I'm so proud of you Calla because there were so many times that I didn't believe that I would ever see you again" This is like a miracle for me."

Hook's sister Brianna shared a similar comment. "Probably about three years ago, I would have thought she had no chance. She was either going to be dead or she was going to be in prison."

Hook's father Dana also reflected on Hook's past, saying there were times they could not get in contact with her for days, weeks or months.

"I'm very proud of you and I love you very much," he said.

Plansky-Pecor said Hook was the first participant to "move quickly through the phases of this program," and added "I know it wasn't an easy journey for you, Calla, but you did it. You stood up, got out of your comfort zone and did what was expected of you" It has truly been a pleasure to watch you grow over the past 20 months you were involved in the Marinette County Treatment Drug Court Program. The team has seen a complete transformation from the person you were when you started this program to the strong, beautiful young lady you are sitting here today."

To date, the program has nine graduates and 11 terminations.

Marinette County Circuit Court Judge James Morrison, who usually oversees all drug court appearances, "attended" the graduation and ran the court via speakerphone. He is expected to return July 5.


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