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Friday Court holds first graduation on Friday

DALLAS — The first graduates of Polk County’s new Mental Health Court will celebrate their accomplishment on Friday.

The ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m. in Polk County Courthouse court room No. 1. The key note speaker is Sen. Brian Boquist. The graduation is open to the public.

The program, also known as Friday Court, began in April 2016 after more than a year of planning to “develop strategies to reduce the impact of mental illness on our criminal justice system,” said a press release announcing the graduation from Judge Norm Hill.

“From the court’s perspective, these defendants are on a carousel of dysfunction,” Hill wrote. “They commit crimes, are placed on probation, then fail to obtain mental treatment leading to committing new crimes. We needed a new tool to try and break that cycle.”

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