NH Drug Court Judge Comes to Campus


On November 8th, 2018, the Honorable Judge Jacalyn A. Colburn came into Professor Hubbard’s CJ topics course, ‘Sentencing and Offender Re-Entry’ to speak to the students about the drug court program in Nashua, New Hampshire that she oversees. Judge Colburn was appointed to the New Hampshire Superior Court bench in 2009 and presides in the Hillsborough County-Southern District. Drug court is a judicially supervised program designed to take high-risk, high-need offenders and put them into a program of both treatment and accountability with intensive community supervision. The program has on average upward of 30 participants. All of them have suspended prison time hanging over their heads, and the court offers them a second chance.

Judge Colburn explained the drug court process, treatment options and sanctions typically imposed on participants who do not follow the program requirements. She remarked that “I firmly believe that we cannot arrest and incarcerate our way out of the current drug and crime epidemic. We know we won’t have 100 percent success, but well-run drug courts have proven to reduce recidivism by 40 percent over traditional methods. That is good for community safety and good for the participants we serve.” Her talk was candid and insightful about participants and their challenges.

Jacalyn A. Colburn was appointed to the NH Superior Court bench in 2009 and presides in Hillsborough County – Southern District. She earned her B.S. from the University of New Hampshire in 1982 and her J.D. from UNH School of Law in 1996. Prior to her judicial appointment, she was the director of legal services at New Hampshire Public Defender, supervising over 100 attorneys in 10 trial offices, as well as representing indigent clients in criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to homicides


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Richard Hubbard is a Criminal Justice Professor at New England College.
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