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Realizing the mission of Vermont Roots and Wings Alliance

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, a graduation ceremony was held for a current participant [David H.] completing their program, satisfying their sentence and being warmly welcomed back into the community with an opportunity to begin anew, with acquired skills for success! Along with his family, treatment team and host of peer support, Vermont Attorney General Thomas ‘TJ’ Donovan was in attendance beside Judge John Pacht.

“The family unit and sheer number of individuals impacted was and remains remarkable. To have his child, his partner, his mother and stepfather all in attendance made for more than a meaningful moment - this was a demonstration of family unification and solidarity. Each has been impacted and changed for the better, thanks to David's decision and commitment to recovery (and reintegration to the community as an individual open with his recovery), with tremendous credit and gratitude to the team of committed hearts who staff the Chittenden County Treatment Court. A far better investment than incarceration.

I'm grateful to have so many hear the authentic testimony about the power of recovery... the unreported numbers, the impact of the non-newsworthy one person in recovery having the capacity to touch and change countless lives for the better. We know the man we met yesterday was not the man who was introduced to Judge Pacht, Sarah Reed and the treatment team not long ago. To see what can be done and maintained, when we believe and invest in someone's genuine desire and commitment to change, is powerful and illuminates hope.” - Fawn Montanye, VTRWA Executive Director.

Vermont Treatment Court dockets have been in existence since 2002 and serve criminal justice-involved individuals who have a moderate to severe substance use disorder and who are at high risk of reoffending if their substance use and/or mental health disorder remains untreated. The dockets are operated by a team of professionals, made up of a judicial officer, a defense and prosecuting attorney, probation and parole and clinical case managers and treatment providers. Together, this team develops individualized treatment plans and monitors participant’s progress. If a participant is successful, their criminal charges are reduced or dismissed, and the taxpayer saves many hundreds of thousands of dollars as the participant avoids incarceration. Likewise, community safety is increased as participants enter recovery, refrain from committing future crimes and become contributing members of the community. Equally important, the family unit is treated holistically, receiving support necessary to navigate the changes to support successful reintegration of their loved one in the home and in the community.

Treatment Courts are a crucial component of Vermont’s innovative, effective approach to combating substance use disorders. Treatment Courts were first developed in the United States in the 1980s as a response to the cocaine epidemic. Immediate success catalyzed the quick replication of Treatment Courts, nation-wide. Vermont’s Treatment Courts combine the utilization of evidence-based substance use disorder, mental health and other identified treatment options, specific to each participant, in concert with judicial supervision - this is the cornerstone to success!

VTRWA was first envisioned by the team as a way of helping to ensure that the mission of Vermont’s Treatment Courts is realized. Many Treatment Court participants' lives today are impacted by generational substance use disorders and poverty. The Treatment Court docket is a highly structured, intentionally demanding program requiring participants to prioritize treatment above any and all other life demands. There are many current gaps that Vermont Roots and Wings intends to fill through three distinct programs to maintain best practices: participant support, program quality and contingency management.

We need more successes to share! Vermont Roots and Wings Alliance was created to ensure David's story becomes the story of others in that room, and their families, and many who will follow. Treatment Court is the only long-term, supported recovery program, with judicial oversight and accountability Vermonters have access to. Currently, Treatment Courts operate dockets in Chittenden, Rutland and Washington Counties, with Windsor County operating a DUI docket. Franklin County oversees a Family Recovery Court Program.

Earlier this month, Fawn Montanye accepted the invitation to be our executive director, with the challenge to secure the support and funding needed to cultivate and sustain our unique organization. Ms. Montanye is the immediate past executive director of Vermont Recovery Network, an adjunct national faculty member of Faces & Voices of Recovery, and holds a diverse portfolio of certifications in peer-based addiction recovery professional development and advocacy. Fawn and her family relocated from upstate New York in 2019, after piloting what the New York Office of Addiction Services and Supports deemed as the state’s ‘flagship peer-based recovery center’ in Saratoga Springs, NY. She maintains NYS Certified Addiction Recovery Coach credentials, and remains active in east coast recovery consortiums. She shares : “I’m simply a peer - a single mom of two teens, very grateful today to be a woman of dignity and integrity, in sustained recovery from alcoholism and benzodiazepines. Keep going - recovery is possible, real and YOU are worth it”.

Learn more by following the links below, or learn more by giving us a call - we would be happy to share more on who we are and what we endeavor to do.


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