Sherburne County Probation Department is making some changes…

Alcoholics Anonymous orientation meetings
One month ago the department started an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) orientation program.

This program is designed for those offenders who are court ordered to attend AA meetings, Hancuch said.

In the past anonymity was a problem, as it put the AA facilitators in a tough spot having to verify who was coming to the meetings, Hancuch said, adding that many AA attendees outside of the court system do not want their identity known to everyone, and like that the program is anonymous.

In addition, it could sometimes be disruptive to the meetings when people who are court ordered to be there were just thrown into the mix of people choosing to be there, he said.

To help combat these difficulties, now the courts can order someone to take the eight-week orientation program.

This program is run by AA volunteers and goes through an overview and run down of the 12 steps.

This way, if a person continues on into regular AA meetings, he or she has already been briefed and has a better idea of what to expect.

From here offenders will also know how to get a sponsor and which meetings might work best for them if they wish to continue on.

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