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Article posted: 11/11/2012 8:40 PM

Kane drug court has 'write' idea

By Harry Hitzeman

Recovering addicts in Kane County's Drug Rehabilitation Court will get a chance to show artwork and essays they have created and completed in the 2nd annual Fine Art and Writing Show this week.

Scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor jury room at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles, the show provides a venue for participants and recent graduates of the drug court to display their art, writing and poems.

The first expo was held in September 2011 and drew high marks.

Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served by participants who volunteered to help with the event. Many of the artists will be at the show along with Judge Patricia Piper Golden, the program's presiding judge.

"The art show represents the hard work and healing of the participants, who are all striving to find new outlets and communities. By working with Kane County Drug Court, they commit to make those changes under close supervision for 30 months of intensive treatment in the voluntary program that has graduated 665 participants since its inception," said Carrie Thomas, drug court coordinator.

In addition to random drug testing, counseling and other requirements, drug court participants are taking a more creative role in recovery, also putting on plays at the last three graduations.

Kidnapper can appeal: A 49-year-old man convicted of aggravated kidnapping in October 2007 has been given a chance to appeal his 18-year prison sentence.

An appellate court panel recently ruled that Martin Prado's request for a hearing for a judge to reconsider the prison sentence should be sent back to Kane County Judge Timothy Sheldon.

Sheldon dismissed Prado's motion in July 2011 because it was not filed within two years of his sentencing.

But Prado sent his petition via regular mail instead of certified mail, and prosecutors didn't immediately receive it, thus missing a 30-day window to reply.

Based on case law, Prado argued that Sheldon should have dismissed the request for a new sentence, but without prejudice, meaning Prado could refile his petition.

The appellate court took it one step further and ordered the matter back to Kane County court for a hearing, which has not been set yet.

"We agree that the dismissal was premature. However, we disagree that the proper disposition is without prejudice. Instead, we agree with the Fourth District, which recently noted that remanding for further proceedings would not be meaningless or result in the case being permanently set on trial court's docket," the panel wrote.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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