Judges Chamberlin, Clark and Helfrich appointed to Drug Courts Advisory Committee

April 10, 2013

Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. has appointed Circuit Judges Robert P. Chamberlin, Roger T. Clark and Robert Helfrich to the State Drug Courts Advisory Committee.

Adams County Court Judge John N. Hudson and Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps were reappointed. The appointees’ terms run through December 2014.

Judge Chamberlin, of Hernando, replaced former Mississippi Department of Mental Health Director Herbert Loving of Jackson on the Advisory Committee. Judge Clark, of Gulfport, replaced Lauderdale County Court Judge Veldore Young. Judge Helfrich, of Hattiesburg, replaced Special Assistant Attorney General Patricia B. Marshall of Ridgeland.

Members serve staggered terms. Administrative Office of Courts Director Kevin Lackey of Ridgeland is chairman. Other members are Circuit Judge Michael Taylor of Brookhaven, Rankin County Court Judge Thomas Broome, District Attorney Patricia Burchell of Hattiesburg, DeSoto County Court Judge Allen Couch and Rep. Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto.

The State Drug Courts Advisory Committee was established by the Mississippi Legislature in 2003 to recommend improvements to drug court policies and procedures. The Advisory Committee was also responsible for developing statewide evaluation plans and models for monitoring critical aspects of drug court operations.

More than 3,350 people are enrolled in drug courts statewide, including adult and juvenile programs. Mississippi currently has 44 drug courts. There are 22 Circuit Court drug courts, 15 juvenile programs, five misdemeanor level programs and two family treatment courts.