40 to graduate from Fifteenth Circuit Intervention Court on June 17

June 1, 2022

Forty people are expected to graduate from the Fifteenth Circuit Intervention Court during a ceremony at 10 a.m. June 17. The ceremony will be held at Resurrection Life Church, 795 Memorial Boulevard in Picayune.

Circuit Judge Prentiss Harrell will preside. Picayune Mayor Jim Luke will give welcoming remarks.

Capt. John Harless, supervisor of the Hattiesburg District Office of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, will be the keynote speaker. Capt. Harless is a founding member of the multi-disciplinary group Stand Up Mississippi, which has worked to reshape the view of addiction, the acceptance of prevention efforts and the role of law enforcement in recovery. Capt. Harless has been recognized for his work in drug enforcement and public education.

Intervention Court graduates include 20 from Marion County, nine from Pearl River County, five from Lamar County, three from Lawrence County and two from Jefferson Davis County. One graduate is from Jones County but transferred to the Fifteenth Circuit for supervision. All graduating participants have at a minimum obtained a general education development certificate (GED) or its equivalent, and several also earned a trade, vocational or other academic certification while in Intervention Court. Most notable and important is that the three babies born to graduates in this class were born drug-free.

Intervention courts seek to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with drug testing and frequent court appearances. Intervention 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. The Fifteenth Circuit Intervention Court currently has 274 people enrolled.

There are currently 42 drug intervention courts at all levels of the court system, including 22 adult felony drug intervention courts, three adult misdemeanor programs, 14 juvenile drug intervention courts and three family drug intervention courts.