“Everybody was for you” Fredrick shares his experience in King County Drug Diversion Court
In March 2021, facing more than 57 months in prison for vehicle theft, Freddie was given a chance at Drug Court. His opioid use had started off as pain management but quickly spiraled out of control. Freddie explains he was addicted to alcohol, methamphetamines, and opioids and engaged in theft to support his use. He was living homeless and unemployed at the time he transferred into drug court.
Freddie moved into drug court transitional housing the day he discharged from jail and kept in close contact with his case manager. Soon, his life started changing. Twenty years after he lost his driver’s license, drug court helped him get it back. That led to an employment opportunity and at the age of 43, in less than two years’ span, Freddie went from stealing cars to working full-time as a delivery driver. Freddie has reconnected with his children and is in the process of securing permanent housing.
Here is what Freddie has to say about his experience:
“This program has been hands down amazing. I have been in and out of the system — jail and institutions — since 1997. I have had multiple arrests, a lot stemming from drug use and alcoholism and bouts of homelessness, and mental health issues. Out of all this time, I have never seen a program like Drug Court. I really think it needs to be expanded — it could benefit a lot more people. I am doing the work — but the vehicle of Drug Court has pretty much saved my life. I hope the funding continues. I can’t say enough about this program. Fifteen years of hell was unraveled in less than two years. I know I am not fully healed, but I am healing. When I look back from 2020 to where I am today, it is not even me. ”
Freddie says what surprised him most about Drug Court was how the whole court setting is so different from mainstream court.
“Everybody was for you — the judge, the prosecutor, everyone. The whole team claps for you and is excited when you are doing well…I had a team behind me that wanted me to succeed.”
In April 2022, Freddie graduated drug court. He is looking ahead to his future and thinking of ways to give back.