“Scary Mary” Presiding: Dateline NBC Takes an In-Depth Look at Drug Courts

On Sunday, NBC’s Dateline aired an in-depth look at Mercer County, Michigan’s drug courts. The piece, featuring Adult and Juvenile Drug Court Judge “Scary Mary” Chrzanowski, followed the stories of three individuals, whose addictions landed them in drug court, for an entire year.
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) further explains why this riveting piece is so important:

While the story is a profile of just one of over 2,800 Drug Courts in the United States, it underscores two important issues critical to the public’s understanding of all Drug Courts. First, the individuals profiled in the piece, no matter their original charge, were given the option of Drug Court because they were assessed and shown to meet the clinical criteria for drug-dependence. Once they were admitted, the Drug Court team worked tirelessly to keep them in the program and deal with relapse and other issues that arose along the way.

Dateline will post the full episode here later this week. For now you can watch and share select clips on NBC’s website, or watch the teaser below.

Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Updated: February 08 2018