Programs offer offenders, addicts a road to redemption: ‘It’s much better to get high off basketball’

Programs offer offenders, addicts a road to redemption: ‘It’s much better to get high off basketball’
Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 23:37:44-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- There is much more riding on this competition than the final score.

The men who make up these teams are familiar with a different court; they're addicts on the road to recovery.

On this day, members of Henrico’s Drug Court challenge Team ORBIT or Opiate Recovery Based on Intensive Tracking.

Both programs offer offenders and former addicts like Jordan Wood an open lane toward redemption.

“We’re able to be productive citizens and earn jobs. Participate in the community. Community service and give back to the community what we took,” says Jordan.

For Jordan immersing himself in the work release of ORBIT instills self-confidence and positive re-enforcement. Something he says never had.

“This program has given me stepping stools to be a productive member of society,” says Jordan.

Sheriff Mike Wade says Drug Court and ORBIT emphasizes a brotherhood.

“Well, you can go get high off drugs or high off basketball. It's much better to get high off basketball,” says Wade. “It's about supporting each other. Getting them to work together is a big part of the success of the program. Because they depend on each other.”

Personal responsibility coupled with intense support can help reduce crime and foster rehabilitation.

Drug Court Probation Officer Alex Deas says the combination can be a slam dunk.

“If they’re offenders it does not matter. Make sure they don’t look at the past. They move forward. It’s a brand-new day,” says Deas.

In the end, Team Drug Court prevailed by one point. The score is secondary. Because both teams are winning in life. You can call it March Happiness.

Jordan Wood says, “It makes me proud of my progress so far. It makes me feel like my work is being noticed and definitely a fun experience.”

In May, Team ORBIT and Henrico Drug Court will be going head to head again in a co-ed kickball game.

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