Archive for the A.A. in Court Category

Sharing a name with a saint didn’t help him – The Update

Smitty counseled teens to keep them off drugs, but his own experience convinced them that they would relapse. He thought he might make the revolving door work more efficiently by selling them the drugs himself. Interestingly, his defense attorney claimed that he wasn’t motivated by money, but by his own “powerlessness.”

The story is here (

Because you need donuts when you are torching a building to save lives

Thomas Downey had just been released from prison and needed a meeting. He also needed donuts.

The story is here.

Boy and Girl meet on AA campus; Rape ensues

Last night I had dinner with an old friend who is a clinical psychologist at a state prison. And, once again, I heard about concern about the predators that get into AA. However, I was surprised to hear about it from a non-AA member and from a professional who deals both with predators and victims.

This morning, I got up and read this story in the paper, and was once again reminded how important the work is that Massive Attack does.

Here is the link:

What is it going to take?

Woman charged in NW Charlotte Shooting

A 24-year-old woman has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a 26-year-old male acquaintance Tuesday morning in northwest Charlotte.

Police say the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute.

Continue reading What is it going to take?


This reminds me of a story a friend recently told me: His sister was busted for DUI in CO, and she was sentenced to a 12-Step sober living facility owned by the Judge’s own wife.

We should keep an eye on this story:

Pa. Judge Guilty of Racketeering in Kickback Case

SCRANTON, Pa. — A former juvenile court judge defiantly insisted he never accepted money for sending large numbers of children to detention centers even after he was convicted of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of the for-profit lockups.

AA’s Affiliation with the Courts

I just thought I would take a moment to clarify this point: The courts would never have used AA as a sentencing option if AA itself did not actively and aggressively 12 Step at the courthouse. The courthouse is the most important outreach work AA does to maintain its membership numbers. Alcoholics Anonymous not only encourages members to 12 Step at the court house, in spite of the breach of several Traditions, and in spite of the discomfort and questioning of members, but actually uses passive aggressive manipulation to coerce members to engage in this 12 Step outreach at the courts.

Anyone who asserts that courts are taking advantage of AA, without AA’s enthusiastic and aggressive participation, is either ignorant of AA’s position on the subject or practicing Rigorous Honesty™ (lying).

It is AA’s policy to forge this relationship with the courts:

AA Cooperation With the Courts

AA Video for Legal and Correctional Professionals

Prosecutor Talks 12-Step Sentencing

Last night, criminal prosecutor, maozedong,  posted an interesting comment offering insight into the courts’ practice of sentencing people to 12-Step programs. I didn’t want anyone to miss this, so  I’m reposting it here. Thank you, maozedong. — ftg

At the risk of drawing some ire, I will disclose that I’m a criminal prosecutor; threads like these are getting my attention as I’d never given much thought to issues related to criminals in AA.

How prosecutors and judges handle sentencing varies from state to state and county to county. In my county, first time DWI (aka DUI) offenders are not generally required to attend AA meetings as a condition of probation. There’s this perception out there that anyone who gets a DWI must have a drinking problem, but my experience has been that this is not the case. In the case of someone with multiple DWIs, AA attendance is usually imposed as a part of the standard plea deal. Continue reading Prosecutor Talks 12-Step Sentencing

Hey, Predators! Dallas Judge Sends Kids to AA Meetings!

Check your local meeting calendar…

It hasn’t occurred to Judge Williams that AA meetings — which are unregulated, anonymous, open to the public, completely unaccountable for what happens in meetings, and attract vulnerable, addicted, mentally and emotionally broken people — might be very attractive to sexual and financial predators. She thinks children should be added to this company.

Of all people, a judge should be most aware of the types of people that end up in AA, considering how many are sentenced to attend meetings by themselves and their colleagues.  So, there must be some logical disconnect between what a judge like Cheryl Williams knows to be true and what she believes about Alcoholics Anonymous. She must know, for instance, that AA teaches people that they have a lifelong disease; that it offers a spiritual awakening as a cure for this disease; that membership in AA is forever. She must also know that all manner of criminal is sentenced to attend AA. Despite knowing all this, she still finds that sending kids to AA meetings is something she should “always” do. Clearly what this judge knows and what she believes about AA have no relationship to each other. She knows that there are sexual offenders in AA; but she believes that it’s full of plain talking, gold-hearted Wilford Brimleys and that it’s a perfectly safe and reasonable place to send a teenager, as a matter of course.

Williams says her “biggest hammer” is the ability to suspend a driver’s license. But, the judge points out, not every offender has a license – many simply drive without it. “It’s effective only to those who care about the consequences,” she said.

If she’s aware of a previous alcohol-related offense, she may require the offender to spend time in a hospital emergency room or write his or her own obituary.

Repeat offenders are not unusual. The News analysis of municipal court data showed that some youths had multiple offenses before reaching legal drinking age. About 8 percent of those charged in the last five years have already reoffended.

But the chances of Williams knowing about a previous Class C arrest are slim – there is no statewide database for Class C misdemeanors.

Whitney always orders youthful offenders to attend a series of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He said it’s not unusual for them to take a laissez-faire approach to the sessions initially, but the message eventually gets through.

He recalled a case 10 years ago in which he fined a teenager $300 and ordered eight hours of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I really didn’t think that I would get anything out of Alcoholic’s Anonomous [sic],” the young man later wrote to the judge. “I sure didn’t think I had a problem. After I listened to the first three speakers I started to see a pattern in all of them, that being their childhood and their younger drinking days sounded a lot like my life.”

The youngster went on to tell the judge that the sentence “was not actually a punishment at all but a great lesson,” and that he planned to continue attending AA even after his court-ordered sessions ended.

“If you can show them the way, get them in a program, you’re usually able to turn them around,” Whitney said.

In Williams’ court, every juvenile offender – and their parents – must meet with a social worker for an assessment. If Williams’ staff identifies a substance-abuse problem, she refers the child for treatment.

Here’s the whole story…

Updated to add a link to Corey’s comment about a child predator in AA.

Like Gardners

AnnaZed found AA’s current promotional campaign.  What else but an evangelical religion has the nerve and obliviousness to promote themselves the way they do.

About AA – Collaboration: Paving the Way to Sobriety

Here are some excerpts

Committed to helping those with alcoholism regain their lives, Judge Hueston relies on the relationship she has developed with the A.A. community in her district and throughout the state. “I hear these stories every day in my courtroom, tales of horror and heartache, dysfunctional backgrounds, people who have lost jobs, lost kidneys, lost limbs; people who are living in abandoned buildings….”

“You and I are like gardeners,” she says, talking about the role that A.A. can play in helping alcoholics who come through drug courts. “We have to plant seeds and hope that at some point they get it.” Describing one of the people who came before her court whom she had remanded to A.A., a woman who had been actively using drugs and alcohol for many years—“she was strung out, her eyes were sunken, her kids were in foster care, she was homeless”— Judge Hueston witnessed the incredible miracle of A.A. The judge detailing how the woman complained bitterly about having to go to
A.A. and would have preferred simply being in jail. “It’s too hard,” she said. The woman, however, returned a year or so later to Judge Hueston’s court—with flowers for the judge—sober and slowly regaining her life.
“Drug court is creative and it’s holistic, and we’re trying to wrap around our services and our support in a meaningful way. But I cannot do it alone. I need help. I need a team. And A.A. is a very powerful part of the team.”

It sounds like you can’t be too stupid for Yale, either:

Richard S. Sandor, M.D., graduated from Yale University in 1968 and received his M.D. from the University of Southern California in 1972. Prior to full-time private practice, Dr. Sandor was the Chief of the Chemical Dependence Treatment Programs at the Sepulveda VA Medical Center and then Medical Director of the Saint John’s Hospital Chemical Dependence Center. He has lectured and written on the subject of addictive disorders and was President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine from 1993 to 1995. According to Dr. Sandor, when it comes to using A.A. as a resource for healthcare professionals, “You in A.A. have a great deal to teach those of us in the healthcare field.” Dr. Sandor, who began treating alcoholics when he was director of a care unit at a California hospital, attended A.A. meetings as part of his early training. There, says Dr. Sandor, “I learned about recovery, which in all my fine academic education, I had never learned anything about. I knew how to detox people, I knew how to treat all kinds of physical and psychiatric illnesses; but I knew nothing about recovery. And these wonderful people in the meetings taught me about how recovery comes as a result of working the Twelve Steps.”

DUI School

One of our readers, JR Harris, has put together a blog with some advice on surviving DUI school. It’s full of all kinds of useful tips on what to do, and what not to do. Check it out.