As judge of the Lane County Drug Treatment Court, Eugene, Oregon, Ilisa Batkin Rooke-Ley ’82 has kept people struggling with addition out of jail and helped them through recovery. In TV interviews with KMTR, an affiliate of NBC, Rooke-Ley reflects on the strength of participants and her own personal journey that led her to this profession.
“Through 12 years of school and four years of college and three years of law school and years of being a lawyer, years of being a judge, I’ve had lots of training, lots of requirements I’ve had to meet as a professional,” Rooke-Ley says in the KMTR interview. “None of them are as difficult as what our participants go through.”
The adult treatment court offers people facing criminal charges with the opportunity to participate in their recovery program. Uniquely, criminal justice professionals are members of the recovery team and play an active role in providing therapeutic support. After a rigorous year in treatment, the court dismisses the original cases that brought participants to court in the first place.
KMTR aired two segments on the Drug Treatment Court. On May 9, five members of the program were filmed celebrating their graduation from the program. On May 17, a recent graduate from the treatment program was interviewed about an alumni association he founded in order to help ease the transition from court to independence. Watch both episodes here and here.
Rooke-Ley graduated from William Smith with her B.A. in English literature and went on to receive her J.D. from the Nova Southeastern University Law School. Before her election to the bench in 2010, Rooke-Ley spent 16 years working as a criminal defense lawyer for adult criminal defendants, children in delinquency cases and parties in dependency cases.