Trouble with law in 'rearview mirror' for mental health court grad

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove stands before Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull on Thursday afternoon as he graduates from the county's mental health court. His completion of the program led to the dismissal of his 2013 charge of aggravated battery to a peace officer, Hull said.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove stands before Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull on Thursday afternoon as he graduates from the county's mental health court. His completion of the program led to the dismissal of his 2013 charge of aggravated battery to a peace officer, Hull said. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove celebrates the message in a note from Treatment Alternative Court Coordinator Lindsey Liddicoatt at his graduation Thursday afternoon from the Kane County mental health court program. In the note, Liddicoatt praised Burroughs for balancing his court-ordered treatment for depression and anxiety with school and work.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove celebrates the message in a note from Treatment Alternative Court Coordinator Lindsey Liddicoatt at his graduation Thursday afternoon from the Kane County mental health court program. In the note, Liddicoatt praised Burroughs for balancing his court-ordered treatment for depression and anxiety with school and work. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove receives a hug from Dianna Gouskos, linkage case manager at Ecker Center for Mental Health in Elgin, after his graduation Thursday from the Treatment Alternative Court mental health program in Kane County.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove receives a hug from Dianna Gouskos, linkage case manager at Ecker Center for Mental Health in Elgin, after his graduation Thursday from the Treatment Alternative Court mental health program in Kane County. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Treatment Alternative Court team members look on as Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove graduates Thursday afternoon from the two-year program after completing the required mental health treatment, drug testing and court supervision.

      Treatment Alternative Court team members look on as Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove graduates Thursday afternoon from the two-year program after completing the required mental health treatment, drug testing and court supervision. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove shares the ups and downs of his two years in Kane County mental health court as he graduates Thursday as the 39th person to complete the program since it was established in 2006.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove shares the ups and downs of his two years in Kane County mental health court as he graduates Thursday as the 39th person to complete the program since it was established in 2006. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove works the courtroom Thursday in St. Charles after graduating from the Kane County mental health court program and having a charge against him of aggravated battery to a police officer dismissed.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove works the courtroom Thursday in St. Charles after graduating from the Kane County mental health court program and having a charge against him of aggravated battery to a police officer dismissed. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull applauds Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove as Burroughs becomes the 39th graduate of Treatment Alternative Court since the program was established in 2006.

      Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull applauds Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove as Burroughs becomes the 39th graduate of Treatment Alternative Court since the program was established in 2006. photos by Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove greets participants in Kane County's mental health court who were on hand Thursday to hear him graduate from the program.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove greets participants in Kane County's mental health court who were on hand Thursday to hear him graduate from the program. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove earned this diploma as he graduated Thursday from the Treatment Alternative Court mental health program in Kane County.

      Bradley Burroughs of Sugar Grove earned this diploma as he graduated Thursday from the Treatment Alternative Court mental health program in Kane County. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/10/2016 8:29 PM

Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull calls the case for the last time.

"13CF853, People v. Bradley Burroughs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In a suit, having graduated with his associate degree in mortuary science the previous night, Burroughs rises before Hull on Thursday during the weekly call of the county's mental health court program.

Burroughs, 23, of Sugar Grove, stands ready for another graduation -- one that will spring him from the treatment for anxiety and depression, the drug testing and the court appearances he's been ordered to complete for the past two years.

"It's probably one of the best days of my life to know that I wouldn't be going to jail and that I actually can start a career," Burroughs said.

With applause, hugs and handshakes, Burroughs became the 39th graduate of Treatment Alternative Court in Kane County since the program was established in 2006. The court is one of several across the suburbs that help offenders with mental illness gain control of their conditions, stabilize their lives and stay out of trouble.

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"His criminal case that brought him here? Now it's dismissed and he'll be able to get it expunged," Hull said.

"This is something that you can put in the rearview mirror," he told Burroughs. "You're not going to ever have to answer to it again."

Burroughs entered the judicial system after getting into what he described as "an altercation" with a security guard in May 2013. He was charged with felony aggravated battery to a peace officer but bailed himself out of jail.

At first, he said he thought the program would be easy, but soon he found himself calling Lindsey Liddicoatt, Treatment Alternative Court coordinator, asking if he could skip his group therapy. The answer was always "No."

"Believe me, I was onto your game," Liddicoatt said in a letter read during Burroughs' graduation.

Attending therapy, Burroughs gained the ability to talk about his feelings and learned how to manage emotions of depression and anxiety "the right way in society."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I see a different person standing in front of me," said Jennifer Kenneavy, who managed Burroughs' treatment at Association for Individual Development in Aurora, recalling what he was like two years ago. "One who is very competent and capable and has a great future in front of him."

While Burroughs walked away a free man anticipating the start of a yearlong internship at a funeral home in Elmhurst, he passed along some encouragement to those still working through the program.

"It's possible," Burroughs said, telling the remaining participants to chase their dreams. "Just because you all have a mental health illness doesn't mean that you can't do anything."

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