Judge candidate shares ideas on West End court

  • Thu Jun 7th, 2018 12:38pm
  • News

Attorney John Black says he has seen it, as he has practiced law in the West End over the last 17 years, people changing their wills to disinherit their children because those children have become drug addicted. Black feels a key component that could help those addicted is Oxford Houses. Black also wants to be your next judge in the West End.

An Oxford House is a place for those in recovery to go after they finish treatment. Black said, ” I recently had a client that completed rehab, but she had no place to go, so she went back to her heroin dealer boyfriend and back to using again.”

“District Court 2 is not DUI’s and bar fights anymore.”

Black shared that Port Angeles has several Oxford Houses, and it is a place where those in recovery learn life skills and if they don’t follow the rules they are out. Black said his goal is to help people recover and the court system is the perfect place to start. Black also has 25 years of sobriety.

“I want to come out here to help, I want to see the West End court cooperate with the Port Angeles court,” Black added that work could be shared between the courts.

Black told about how he saw the need for counselling and invited Gill Orr of Cedar Grove Counselling to take a look at opening an office in Forks. Orr now has an office at 494 S. Forks Ave., next to the Forks Forum office. Orr said, “people in recovery have no safe place to go, a recovery house would help with better success for those people.”

Orr said Cedar Grove has been open in Forks for about 4 years. Orr shared that he has heard stories of abuse and addiction that “wells up his heart.” “No one makes rational decisions while addicted,” Orr said. Orr is also 25 years sober this year, “A nudge from the judge got me sober,” he added.

Black and Orr brought along three Oxford House residents. George, Annie and Babette each shared their story. George tried several times to get clean and in 2016 got into an Oxford House, “Oxford House saved my life,” George said. Annie said she was a drug runner in multiple counties. “It is hard to be sober when you are surrounded by drugs, Annie said. “Each house has guidelines, residents are elected to positions in the house, you learn skills again.”

Babette said, “I didn’t know how to be an adult, I never thought I would be clean again, I can’t express how it changed my life.”

Babette said she has been at Oxford House for several years, “It is a new way of living.”

Tenants in an Oxford House have to follow the rules and be employed.

Black said people will have a choice for Judge for the first time in a long time in November. Black is currenlty renting a property in Forks and said if elected he would move to the West End.