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

Forrest and Perry County Drug Court graduation is Dec. 11

December 8, 2006

Fourteen participants in the 12th Circuit Adult Drug Court are expected to graduate in a ceremony scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at the Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg.

The guest speaker will be a Drug Court participant who will be graduating. His wife also is graduating that day.

Circuit Judge Robert B. Helfrich, who founded the 12th Circuit Adult Drug Court program in Forrest and Perry counties in October 2003, will preside over the graduation.

After graduation, 120 people will remain enrolled in the Drug Court, said Drug Court Coordinator Lucy Bates Davenport.

Thirteen others have previously graduated from the 12th Circuit Adult Drug Court.

The program, which has four phases, requires a minimum of two years for completion, and can take up to five years.

Mississippi has 17 active drug courts. Drug courts seek to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with drug testing and frequent court appearances. Drug courts offer the incentive of a chance to remain out of jail, and the sanction of a jail sentence if participants fail to remain drug-free and in compliance with all program requirements.