Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Commissioner Epps to speak at Hinds Drug Court graduation

January 5, 2006

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps will be the keynote speaker at a Hinds County Drug Court graduation on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m. The Drug Court graduation will be held on the second floor of the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson.

Hinds County Court Judge Mike Parker will preside over the ceremony and present the graduation certificates. Nine people are expected to graduate.

This is the twelfth graduating class for the Hinds County Drug Court. Seventy people have graduated from the program since it was established in 2000.

More than 850 people are enrolled in 15 drug courts across the state. A total of 183 people have graduated from drug courts across the state since the programs began. The state’s first program started in the 14th Circuit District of Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties in February 1999. Six more drug courts are in planning stages.

Drug courts deal with drug users whose addiction has caused them to commit non-violent crimes. Drug dealers and violent offenders are not eligible.

Drug courts seek to break the cycle of addiction which drives drug users to commit crimes. Drug courts use drug treatment, intensive supervision, drug testing, and immediate sanctions and incentives. Drug court participants are required to get and keep a job, pay fines and fees and maintain a strict schedule of reporting to the judge and probation officers.

Successful completion of a drug court program allows some offenders to have their charges dismissed or reduced. However, some charges cannot be reduced or set aside.

For more information about drug courts in Mississippi, go to the web site of the Mississippi Supreme Court,, then click on “AOC.”