Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty announced he isn’t giving up on Stacey Henderson, the 23-year old woman who asked to be sent to prison so she wouldn’t be tempted to use drugs. Instead of granting her request, the judge sentenced her Wednesday to two years on probation. But she won’t be out on the street.
Henderson appeared in court last Friday for sentencing on a drug conviction. Because it was her first felony conviction, the standard sentence is a year of probation with an underlying sentence of 12 months in prison.
However, Henderson told the judge she would rather go to prison and get treatment than receive probation and go back to drugs.
The request was a first for the judge, and for Assistant County Attorney Amy Schartz Mellor and defense attorney Matt Bristow as well. Svaty said he wanted to think about it before making a decision, and scheduled another hearing for Wednesday.
Svaty extended the term of her probation based on studies that show an addict must be free of methamphetamine usage for two years for a better chance of staying away from the drug permanently. The judge also ordered mandatory drug treatment under Senate Bill 123. She will be held in custody at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office until she is transported to inpatient treatment by the sheriff’s office.
Henderson testified last Friday that she has used meth since she was 14 years old.
“I’m not capable of stopping it. I’ve only been clean for a little bit; being out there I’m tempted to use,” she said. Henderson said she has received “a lot of” out-patient treatment, and in-patient treatment once, but was only able to stay clean for about a month. She said that since moving to the Barton County area in the last couple of years her drug use has increased.
The original story about Friday's hearing can be found here.
SB 123 treatment
The Kansas state Senate Bill 123 passed in 2003 established a program that provided mandatory community-based drug treatment for nonviolent offenders convicted of a preliminary offense for drug possession.
The main goals of the program were to keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, require them to participate in a mandatory 18-month drug-treatment program, and rehabilitate them so they could become non-offending, productive members society. The length of inpatient treatment under SB 123 ranged from 7-40 days. However, offenders sentenced on or after July 1, 2015, are subject to a treatment range from 7-21 days in length. A memorandum from the Kansas Sentencing Commission adds: “It is possible that the offender may later receive additional Inpatient/Residential treatment after the 21-
day period, just as previously under the 40-day cap.”