Monday, October 09, 2006

Drug court helps people fight addiction

Efrain Rivera is charged with possession of narcotics, essentially the same crime Bridgeport Mayor John M. Fabrizi has acknowledged committing. But he finds himself in far different circumstances. He's in Bridgeport Superior Court, a few blocks from City Hall, his wrists crossed behind his back as if someone might slap cuffs on him at any second. When seven sweaty guys in baggy jeans and leg irons shuffle in on the way to another courtroom, he looks away fast. He doesn't want to be like them. In the past, Rivera has been charged with possession of cocaine. This time it's heroin. His checkered past raises the stakes: If things go badly he might find himself among more than 700 inmates serving time in state prisons for possession of cocaine or heroin — not dealing or trafficking, just possession.

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