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Pima County’s STEPs program recognized by state

Pima County's STEPs program won the Excellence and Innovation Award from the Arizona Supreme...
Pima County's STEPs program won the Excellence and Innovation Award from the Arizona Supreme Court.(WTOC)
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 3:21 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 3:51 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A newly launched program for low-level drug offenders in Pima County’s court system was recently named the winner of the Excellence and Innovation Award by the Arizona Supreme Court.

According to a news release, the Supportive Treatment and Engagement Program Program was started in March and is an evidence-based, pre-indictment diversion court that provides those with first or second-time felony drug possession charges with treatment and therapy.

Those who are successful in the program have their initial charges dismissed.

“We are honored by the State’s acknowledgment,” Presiding Judge Jeffrey T. Bergin was quoted as saying. “STEPs is the result of years of planning, community building, and justice stakeholder partnerships.”

Officials said the idea for STEPs was born in late 2019, and involved cooperation between court divisions, the Pima County Attorney’s Office, Pima County Public Defense Services, the Pima County Administration, Sheriff’s Department and the Tucson Police Department.

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