At the end of February, Back on My Feet Baltimore staff had the incredible honor to watch Sherlock, a Back on My Feet member filled with wisdom, humility, and determination, graduate from the Baltimore City District Court Veteran's Treatment Docket.
The Veterans Treatment Docket is a court supervised, comprehensive, and voluntary treatment-based program for former military service members charged with misdemeanors or certain felonies. The docket emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration, similar to a drug court or a mental health court. Providing supervision and services for up to one year, the program links eligible veterans to assistance and services. (MDCourts.gov)
With the leadership and help of District Judge Halee F. Weinstein, Sherlock went to the Baltimore Station to run with Back on My Feet Baltimore as a part of his rehabilitation. For the past six months, Sherlock has won the hearts of our team and our volunteers - remaining grateful and excited on his new lease on life.
Standing in front of the court, his fellow veterans, and his Back on My Feet family, Sherlock graduated the program and shared these exact words:
When this process started six months ago, I was scared, lost, and didn't know what to expect. I came down to the basement thinking I was going away for a while. Not knowing that I would go away, but not to jail. I dind't know what to epxect, but when I was called into the DA's office, I was put at ease. Put at ease because I was told about the Veteran's Treatment Docket. I still din't know what to expect, but anything was better than jail, and especially jail with a habit.
After meeting Judge Winstein, I felt a sense of knowing 'I would be okay.' Problem was I was a working addict. I tried to do the requirements, but at that time my habit and my job came before my court commitment (talk about priorities!). Then that day I came in, sat in the back [of the court], and nodded in and out. I knew Judge Weinstein saw me, and she knew, that I knew, that she saw me nodding. I was called up last and then... "Go to detox. Not now but RIGHT NOW." And my life changed in an instant. Who knows where I'd be had I been left to my own decisions. That day and this moment is because you believed in me. I feel so much better and have such a better and healthier outlook on life - thanks to Judge Weinstein and Back on My Feet. It's all because of love. Love for your fellow human. Love breeds compassion and that is what's displayed here. Thank you."