Judge Virginia Carlton congratulates teens for completing drug court program

April 12, 2022

Mississippi Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Virginia Carlton congratulated three teens who graduated from the Pike County Juvenile Intervention Court.

Judge Carlton was the keynote speaker on April 5 at the Intervention Court’s graduation ceremony at the Courthouse in Magnolia.

Department of Child Protection Services workers deliver Thanksgiving meals

Judge Carlton told the graduates and their family members, “You should be proud of all that you have accomplished.” She said, “The support of the families is critical to the success of drug court.”

She told the graduates, “Don't let drug court graduation be your last accomplishment. Keep doing what you have been doing that got you to this point. Ask for help when you need help. Set goals and reach them. Your future is yours. It is what you make of it!”

Pike County Court Judge John Price, who presides over the Juvenile Intervention Court program, said, “They had worked hard to complete our program.”

Most participants stay in the program for a year or more, although it’s possible to complete the program in six months. Time spent in the program depends on a participant’s compliance with program requirements.

Judge Carlton said, “Drug courts are a way that the judiciary serves the people, families, the community, and the State. Drug courts require that judges step outside of their traditional roles and work in partnership with the participants to guide them to success. Drug court guides participants to successfully overcome their addiction, substance abuse, and ensuing chaos.”

Judge Carlton said, “When one person rises out of addiction, substance abuse, and chaos, we all rise. When the intergenerational cycle of addiction and substance abuse is broken, we all rise. When youth can overcome substance abuse, addiction and chaos, they can have a better future, and we all rise.”

Pike County and 13 other counties across the state have juvenile drug intervention courts. There are currently 42 drug intervention courts at all levels of the court system, including 14 juvenile drug intervention courts, three family drug intervention courts, 22 adult felony drug intervention courts and three adult misdemeanor programs.