News

Chief Justice Randolph to speak at 8th Circuit Drug Court graduation

May 3, 2019

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph will speak at the Eighth Judicial District Drug Court graduation on May 7 at 1 p.m. The ceremony will be held at Pine Grove Pentecostal Church in Sebastopol.

May is National Drug Court Month.

About 15 people are expected to graduate from the Eighth Judicial District program. The ceremony will also recognize participants who will advance into the third, fourth and fifth phases of the program. Approximately 350 people are enrolled in the program, according to Drug Court Coordinator Marcus Ellis.

Circuit Judge Christopher Collins and Circuit Judge Mark Duncan will preside.

The Eighth District includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton and Scott counties.

The state has 40 drug courts, including 22 adult felony programs, three adult misdemeanor programs, 12 juvenile drug courts and three family drug courts.

By addressing the root causes of criminal activity and substance use disorders, the adult drug courts offer participants an alternative to incarceration. Drug courts provide participants access to resources and opportunities they need by coordinating the efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense counsel, probation, law enforcement, treatment, mental health and social service providers. This interdisciplinary approach offers participants the opportunity to become productive, law abiding citizens, which reduces recidivism and provides for healthier communities.

Chief Justice Randolph became head of the Mississippi Judiciary on Feb. 1. He is the longest currently serving member of the Supreme Court, having been appointed to the Court by Gov. Haley Barbour on April 23, 2004. He practiced law on the Gulf Coast and in Hattiesburg for nearly 30 years before his appointment to the Supreme Court.

He was decorated for heroism in Vietnam, where he served as an air traffic controller with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One. He was honorably discharged in 1967. During law school, he received an appointment as a Reserve officer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a graduate of the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was honorably discharged in 1975.

He graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., with a B.S. degree in business administration in 1972. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1974, where he served as president of the Law School Student Body.