St. John’s substance abuse program celebrates first graduates


ST. JOHN’S, Mich. (WLNS) — Two women celebrated their graduation from a 29th Circuit court-based substance abuse program in St. John’s yesterday afternoon.

Judge Shannon Schlegel’s Journey Program focuses on women’s felony drug treatment and healing from trauma that led to drug use.

Today, Rachel Hilliker was able to graduate from the journey program.

Hilliker says she’s used drugs most of her life and now her life has completely changed, having spent more than two years dedicating her time to healing and becoming a new version of herself.

She says although it was a stressful journey, today she feels overwhelmed with joy. 

“Basically force myself into an uncomfortable situation of the unknown so I can learn things that would help me be a better person…. I feel grateful and very proud of myself.”

Hilliker plans to get a certification in peer recovery to help others struggling with drug abuse.

The following list determines eligibility for Journey Court:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Legal U.S. Resident
  • Physiologically female & identifies as
  • Current charge is non-violent felony or high court misdemeanor
  • No past assaultive behavior based on the discretion of the Prosecutor
  • No weapon used or possessed in the commission of the crime
  • Must plead guilty
  • Identified Substance Use Disorder by Clinical Assessment
  • LSI-R/COMPAS assessment at Moderate-High/High Risk
  • Preference given to those that live/work/or are otherwise eligible for Clinton County services

If you’re interested in Journey Court, you can contact program coordinator Tia Ware at (989) 372-0174 or at

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