A York County judge is working to protect the youngest victims of the opioid crisis. Her new Wellness Court would change procedures for a parent accused of using drugs.
Court of Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Prendergast says the object is keeping families together and finding true solutions for families fighting addiction.
“You need to break the cycle within the family, and if you don’t break the cycle within the family, you can have multiple generations with the same issues,” Prendergast said.
The court will focus on treatment, getting parents to address their addiction first.
“If you focus on the root cause, it’s cheaper, easier, faster, and it’s more humane,” Prendergast said.
Even the courtroom areas are more child-friendly. Prendergast’s court will offer comfort from a therapy dog and give out free toys.
Prendergast plans the launch Wellness Court on January 8.