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

Mississippi’s new drug court coordinator to speak at national conference

June 21, 2006

Mississippi’s new state drug court coordinator is among the speakers for this year’s National Association of Drug Court Professionals conference in Seattle, Wash.

Joey Craft of Clinton, whose promotion to state drug court coordinator is effective July 1, will address the NADCP conference on Friday, June 23, about sustaining drug courts. Mississippi has 16 active drug court programs and others in planning stages.

It will be Craft’s second time to address the NADCP national conference. He spoke at last year’s conference in Orlando, Fla. He has also previously served as a facilitator for drug court training sessions conducted by the National Drug Court Institute.

Craft has served as a project manager for the state Administrative Office of Courts since September 2002, with the majority of his work concentrated in the area of drug courts. Craft works with judges and court staff statewide in the planning and creation of drug courts. He manages the statewide drug court initiative.

He worked with legislators and judges in 2003 to establish a framework for drug courts statewide, and in 2004 worked through the State Drug Court Advisory Committee for passage of legislation that established a statewide funding mechanism for drug courts. The 2004 law added a $10 special assessment for drug court operations to fines for felony crimes, traffic offenses, driving under the influence of alcohol, game and fish law violations and litter law violations, and an $8 special assessment to other misdemeanors.

Mississippi’s funding mechanism is the envy of drug court judges in some other states. Some programs in other states rely upon a variety of local, state, federal and private sources for funding.

Craft serves as vice-president of the Mississippi Association of Drug Court Professionals. He previously served as the organization’s treasurer.

Craft worked for 10 years in telecommunications fraud detection before joining the Administrative Office of Courts. His education background is in criminal justice, computer science, statistics and business administration. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1991.

Craft, his wife and three children live in Clinton, where he grew up.