The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

February 16, 2012

Portwood accepted into drug court program

ANDERSON, Ind. — Amber Portwood, a star of MTV’s “Teen Mom,” was accepted into drug court Thursday afternoon.

As part of her acceptance, Portwood was ordered to complete rehabilitation while living at Sister 2 Sister Ministries, a halfway house that serves women coming out of jail.

Portwood was originally scheduled to be released from the Madison County Jail upon her acceptance into the program. However, Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe said Sister 2 Sister would be unable to evaluate her until next Monday or Tuesday. As a result, Portwood will remain in custody.

Portwood appeared disappointed in the court’s ruling. She told Happe that her understanding was that she could enter the program while living with her grandparents.

Happe advised her that placement in the program is at the court’s discretion.

“I understand you’ve been in jail for awhile, and you’re frustrated,” Happe said. “But the last thing we want to do is release you and have you commit another offense.”

Portwood’s attorney, Evan Broderick, asked Happe how long she would have stay at Sister 2 Sister. Happe replied it all depended on how well Portwood does in the program. He added, Portwood will be able to come and go as she pleases, as long as staff knows where she is. Sister 2 Sister has a 10 p.m. curfew.

Under the drug court program, Portwood was told she would undergo daily screenings, fulfill treatment obligations, and attend drug court each week. If Portwood fails the program, she will serve five years at the Department of Correction. Happe reminded her that the sentence was non-negotiable.

Happe asked Portwood if she was aware of what she was getting into. Portwood replied that she did, but that it was “hard to explain” exactly what the requirements were.

“I don’t want anyone going into the program not fully knowing what they’re getting into,” Happe said.

Portwood, who is still under contract with MTV, was scheduled to be admitted into drug court last Thursday. Happe said it was pushed back a week while the court made an agreement with MTV. According to Happe, Portwood’s contractual obligations could not interfere with her completion of the program, and Portwood cannot be sued for violating her contract.

Portwood said she hopes the program will help her stop using drugs and allow her to be available for her daughter.

Earlier Thursday, gossip website TMZ.com reported that Portwood was renting a home that was subsidized by Indiana’s Low Income Rental Housing Tax Credit program. However, Portwood was ineligible for subsidized housing because she had exceeded the income threshold in 2010.

Contact Sam Brattain: 640-4883, sam.brattain@heraldbulletin.com

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