The Alcohol and Drug Awareness
Program, doing business as New Directions, was a concept that was
developed in the early 1990's. A task force that included business
people, members of law enforcement and
the judicial system, sought an alternative to incarceration for men and women who were
caught in the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction.
individuals knew that addicts commit petty crimes to support their
habit, are arrested, incarcerated and then choke the courts and
fill the jails. The process was a revolving door that did nothing
to change or help these addicts.
The concept of New Directions
was to divert such people into a program that taught them how to
stop the cycle. By doing so, lives could be saved as well as a
great deal of money. Incarceration is very costly. And it does
nothing to improve the lives of those in the system.
Judge Rolleen McIlwrath, the group arranged for the New Directions
program to be housed in a vacated building on the San Joaquin
County Honor Farm. The program opened in 1993.
The mission of
New Directions is to teach men and women who have lost control of
their lives due to their addiction how to stop substance abuse and
how to lead crime free, productive and happy lives.