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Judge wins national award for drug court

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Noble Superior Judge Michael J. Kramer was nationally recognized for his work as judge of the Noble County Drug Court. Judge Kramer was named an Advocate of the Year at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. He received the award at a luncheon Thursday.

The Advocate of the Year award recognizes those who have worked to promote and educate others about community coalitions and the importance of substance abuse prevention and treatment.

In a release, he said he was honored to receive the award.

"Substance abuse not only affects individuals and families directly, but cuts across our communities in many areas, including physical and mental health, public safety, child welfare, academic achievement, and business productivity," Judge Kramer said.

Judge Kramer took the bench Jan. 1, 1991, and has served on the drug court since December 2006. The drug court began as voluntary with probation officers that were interested in taking on two or three participants, Judge Kramer said. Grants have allowed the court to expand to include paid staff, but probation officers who are interested still supervise some participants on a volunteer basis. Since its inception, the drug court has accepted 73 people, he said.

In addition to serving on the drug court, Judge Kramer is a member of the CADCA's board of directors, for which he is treasurer. He's on the Governor's Advisory Panel for the Indiana Grassroots Prevention Initiative, Addictions Advisory Council to the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions, and the board of Noble County PRIDE. Drug Free Marion County named the judge as the Indiana Recovery Advocate for 2009.

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