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Old 03-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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is AA still court ordered?


HI,
I was court ordered to AA meetings when I got my DWI, but that was 24 years ago. The DWI did scare me enough to not drink and drive again, well unless I had only had 1 or 2. I went to Al-anon for awhile and there were some scary looking people outside the AA meeting who did NOT look like they wanted to be there, so I suspected they were court ordered, as most AA people are friendly. That was about 6 years ago. So I was wondering if AA was still court ordered for people to go to ? I personally do not think it is good to force someone to go to a program when it should be there if you want to go to it.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am sure it varies across counties,states and countries (for that matter). AA has worldwide membership.


Not to be 'rude' - but it seems like a bit of a loaded question. But I will share a bit of my experience..

My home group - I have seen people drop cards in the basket, and heard people who have said the only reason they are their is because of a DUI they got. I did not talk to them and ask if it was court-order, or some kind of preventitive measure they were taking before getting in front of the judge. They didn't 'want' to be there, and they didn't express any desire to stop drinking so I didn't chat with them at all. It is a rare thing for a card to be placed in the basket at our home group (even for sober living people) - you see, you are gonna hear a lot about the solution - you aren't just gonna come in , listen to some humorous tales, get a card signed and walk out.

I have no opinion on whether or not courts should or should not order people to get help if they have a drinking problem.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, there are still judges that court order people to AA or AA and diversion are given as part of diversion, and sometimes it is a condition of probation.

My experience with being court ordered was when I was 21 years old. I did not believe I actually had a problem, walked in and saw people twice my age. Stayed for one of the 6 meetings I was supposed to attend and did not return until 15 years later when I was truly beat and ready to quit. So in retrospect the court system did introduce me to AA although I did not stick around until I was ready to quit. Personally because of that I do not feel it is a negative thing. It can plant a seed for future reference for the person being court ordered. Just my humble opinion though.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I never seen it as being court ordered.

I see it as people are given a choice...do the time or do the meetings.
Court ordered or not...
some part of the message will sink in and it could catch in that moment or it could catch 10 years from now. May not be the best plan but I do see it works to a degree.

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Old 03-21-2008, 03:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes they are still court ordered. Some it is a condition of probation.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is in California at least.

And I've seen lot's of people that had a "nudge from the judge" that stuck around long after their court cards were signed and found sobriety.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, AA is still court ordered.

As an alcoholic/addict who attends meetings almost on a daily basis, usually at the meeting I regularly attend there are at least a half dozen individuals there with their court slips to be signed. There are others there with slips from treatment centers that require so many meetings a week too.

I can only hope that something in the meeting will stick with at least one of those people. No, I don't think that by forcing someone to go to AA is going to necessarily get someone to come to the immediate conclusion that they are an alcoholic/addict and get clean & sober and into Recovery right then.

I had been in and out of the rooms of AA/NA since 1980 before I finally can say I am in Recovery since July of 2005. Yes, during some of my in and out periods, I had to go with my little paper for the courts or a treatment center and at times I hated it. But I know now, I just wasn't ready then. I hadn't suffered enough. I hadn't hit by bottom. But there are people that left an impact on me from those meetings. As a matter of fact, I saw a oldtimer about a month ago who said somethings at meetings that I hated when I had to go to meetings for my probation officer. He would begin to speak and I would use that opportunity to go to the bathroom. When I saw him a while back, it brought back many memories. But this time, they were of respect for this man. He had said the things that I DID NOT want to hear. He was confirming, way back when, that I was an alcoholic and I could not ever drink again. Not one drink. I couldn't stop after those.

I had to chuckle when you said that there were some scary looking people there outside of the meetings.Please don't judge a book by it's cover. Some of my best friends are leather clad, hard core looking people who loudly blow in on their bikes who are some of the most peaceful and serene individuals in the Program. Looks are deceiving.All the years that I was suffering, I put on the front and by my appearance I was so happy, life was beautiful. I dressed what would be considered business casual, hair perfectly in place, make up just right and a constant smile on my face. Inside, I was a dark, lost, scared and angry person. Once again, looks are deceiving.

Thanks for your post. This is one that should get some great feedback and have alot of different opinions on. I love a post where people can voice their opinions in a safe atomosphere where there will be no judging. This is a great way for someone to gain confidence in speaking their opinions. Alot of alcoholics/addicts are scared to death to begin to open up.

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks! I think AA is a very good thing! I just don't know if it is fair to the people who really want to be there that others are ordered to be there? I know sometimes they tell other people who they saw there. It is supposed to be an anonymous program of people helping people, and people who aren't there because they want to be there could possibly hurt the group. I know what others are saying that sometimes it does help, and they stick around and recover, that is great. Thanks for answering my question, and I personally do not think it should be court ordered. It should be told about as a means of help, IMHO.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, we frequently get court-ordered folks at our group
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmm...
It's none of my business why anyone
sits next to me in an AA meeting.

As to who knows I am in AA...
I am proud to be a member.

9 days is a good new start Ruby
Do you have a plan?
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Welcome Home GP!!
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You just never know

maybe, someone will attend a meeting and hear what they need to hear.

Seems more often that, they are ordered to take DUI classes. Hits the wallet a lot harder then a buck in the basket!!

I'd rather someone sit an not say a word then, to make idle promises that, as soon as they got their lic. back, they'd take people to the meetings like people have been doing for them.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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(((rubycanoe))) There are open meetings and closed meetings. Usually those individuals who are not there because they want to be don't attend a closed meetings. At a closed meeting, it is generally understood that only "official alcoholics" go to these meetings. Those who bring up an issue at a meeting or give them feedback know when a meeting is open, there's a good chance that the doors and windows can be open as well. In other words, things can walk out of a meeting. But for me, I don't care who knows I go to meetings and who doesn't. But I also know if I have something pretty personal or possibly self incriminating from my past, I don't throw it out on the floor at an open meeting or a meeting period. I talk to my Sponsor or close friends on an individual basis about these things. I attend meetings that are held on some of the busiest streets in Dayton. With the new no smoking laws, all of us smokers are in front of the building before and after meetings smokin away. Anyone who drives by knows that we are there at these AA Clubs for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, not for a paper drive.

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My probation officer wants me to go to 3 AA meetings a week and have them signed. I can't speak for everyone "court ordered" but personally I enjoy going to AA meetings. I hate having to put my paper in the basket and have everyone see I am being "forced" to go to a meeting. Time will tell whether I am serious or not.

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Dean,

That leaves four days a week where you don't have to get a card signed!
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Dean, I kinda know how you feel. In discussing the first time offender DUI program with my lawyer, he said one of the requirements would be attending AA meetings. I was like, cool, I'm doing that anyway. So he suggested that I get slips signed to show that I'm trying to get help on my own, and that should help my case.

I feel weird, after seeing these people for a couple of months in the meetings, now I'm getting slips signed, and I worry that they're going to think I'm there now because I have to be. I know it's all in my mind, but we're alcoholics, it's just habit to think were the center of the universe. If you want to show them you're serious, maybe offer to make the coffee or something. How many people that are forced to go there volunteer to help out?
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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We have one guy who "Got it" after being court ordered, he has about 1 1/2 years, we have another guy in my home group who has shared on more then one occasion that he can not wait until he is no longer required to go to meetings to where he can feel in his head like he belongs and is not being forced to go.

They do still court order folks in my area, I look at it this way, many times it appears to be a waste of time, but in reality it may be just the thing that makes someone comfortable enough to walk into the rooms 10-20 years later when they are seeking a solution to thier problem.

There are a ton of folks in the rooms in my area today that are sober that were court ordered years before they ever really wanted to quit, at least they knew there was a solution if and when they wanted it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm back and forth on if AA should be court ordered. AA is court ordered in the county I work and live in. I think it shows that AA can work and it's results have impressed the judicial system enough to order violators to them.

However...

I also think, (well, actually know) it goes against the Third Tradition. If they do not have the desire to stop drinking, then why should they be there in the first place? There are a few that, as one has stated, "Get it", and they do in fact follow the program and stay sober.

But then again, who am I to judge who should and should not attend AA meetings? The answer is not me. I believe that nothing happens in Gods world by mistake, for me to judge whether someone should be or not be attending AA meetings is me judging God's work. If they are the real alcoholic, either two things will happen, they will hit their bottom and do something about it. Or they will choose to do nothing, and the disease of alcoholism will run it's course.

That decision is for the one who has to face it.

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My experience is that these days people seem to be compelled to attend IOP programs more than they're sent to your local AA meeting. This is just my unscientific observation, as more than half of those in my IOP program were compulsory or transactional attenders, while the folks I know in the rooms who are on probation, facing court troubles, don't have to get anything signed.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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In regard to the third tradition....

I doubt very many court-ordered folks who don't want to be there, nor have the desire to quit drinking attend closed meetings.

Also, I doubt they consider themselves members of AA.

I do agree, that if they truly see and hear the message of recovery at work in the meetings and they are alcoholic, there will come a time when they reach out for help and a meeting will probably be the place they crawl to.

It's our responsibility to really live and share on the message of hope and recovery in those meetings.

Though they may not want to be there, they are watching and listening to us. We are AA to them. (Time to start another thread...)
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