|5/1/2019 8:47:00 AM|
Kammes vows to keep moving forward after drug court graduation
|On Thursday April 18, members of the Iowa County Courthouse gathered for another successful graduation when Tiffany Kammes completed the intensive treatment program.|
It was a long road to recovery for Kammes, and she is credited with working very hard towards graduation. By doing that, Kammes had to realize one thing.
"First be honest with yourself," Kammes said. "Then everything falls into place."
The honorable Iowa County Judge Margaret Koehler congratulated Kammes on her accomplishment.
"You've developed great strength, and you've developed drive," Koehler said. "You didn't think you had those qualities before, but you now know that you have them."
Koehler added that Kammes really progressed through the program.
"Everyone is very proud of you. The team believes you are ready to graduate, and I think you believe you are ready to graduate. We all hope that you will be successful in your sobriety in the future."
Kammes' probation officer stepped forward and said that there were a lot of struggles along the way.
"But they've been lessons too because when you decided to get honest with yourself, everything did fall into place," she said.
Melissa Peterson, Iowa County Drug Treatment Court Coordinator, also commended Kammes on her accomplishment.
"The last time you were in to see me, I asked you if you're ready and you said 'yes I am," Melissa said. "You have so many things that you've accomplished: your car, your job, you paid off your warrants, you took care of all that. Keep up the good work, and we're always here if you need anything."
Kammes' counselor then said that he first met her at an Upland Hills Substance Abuse Prevention meeting. It turns out his wife's supervisor worked with Kammes and he received a "play by play book of Tiffany." He knew that the total honesty policy was what it took to help Kammes, but things became better.
"Tiffany has been one who comes in responsible, takes care of business, has a higher quality of life, better relationships, enforces boundaries and continues to just progressing," the counselor said. "I'm just thankful that I got the chance to work with you, and I'm interested to see where you're going to be a month from now, or two months from now.
Jeff Erickson, representative of the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office said that of all the graduates he's seen from Iowa and Grant County, that Kammes was the graduate that made the most progress.
"We're here for you after your graduation, and it was fantastic to see how well you've done," Erickson said.
Iowa County Assistant District Attorney Matt Allen said that Iowa County was acutely reminded of how precious and fleeting life can be, in reference to District Attorney Larry Nelson's unexpected passing.
"It's like you've been given a new lease on life, so I hope you take full advantage of it," Allen tearfully said. "That you enjoy the moments that you have for yourself, your family, and then to know there's plenty people in this room that are ready, willing, and able to help."
Iowa County Deputy Officer Mike Peterson told Kammes that he was trying to figure out what to say all day to her.
"They say life is like the rearview mirror," Mike said. "It's smaller than the windshield because you should always look forward. Think of what you want in the future, from the many conversations that we've had, and you'll do just fine. Keep on climbing that hill, it is going to be long but you can do it. You're going to get to the peak and you're really going to enjoy it."
Defense attorney Jeremiah Meyer O'Day said that he remembered Kammes once during an expulsion hearing. According to O'Day Kammes seemed to have a period of being fine for a period of three months or more, and then when it seemed like she was going to succeed, that she would sabotage herself.
"It was a consistent pattern that had gone on for awhile, and it appeared that you were breaking that pattern," Meyer O'Day said. "It appears that it's stayed broken and I'm really happy about that because you've always had it in you to be successful."
Kammes introduced members of her family and friends that were there in support for her. When asked by Judge Koehler how she was feeling she said, "I feel really good."
"I'm really nervous sitting up here, and having the attention on me," Kammes said. "It was always on me. Going through this program I learned a lot. You taught me how to learn to love myself, and I haven't loved myself for a long time. That means everything to me. My family has always been there for me through the ups and downs. Thank you everybody for your support."
The Iowa County Drug Court treatment program is in existence due to a $89,913 grant awarded by the Treatment of Alternatives and Diversion program in 2015. To be accepted into the drug court program, a client must be in the pre-plea, post-plea pre-adjudication or post-adjudication portion of their case. It is an 18 month program that begins with intake and meetings with probation officers. The client and the probation officer than make a plan which includes counseling services, supervision, drug testing that take place at least once a week, and sanctions.
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