Gov. Tate Reeves to speak to Fifteenth Circuit Intervention Court graduates on June 9

May 25, 2023

Gov. Tate Reeves will be the keynote speaker at a graduation ceremony for the Fifteenth Circuit Intervention Court on June 9 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held at Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.

Circuit Judge Prentiss Harrell will preside.

Thirty-six people are expected to graduate from the drug intervention court. Participants are from Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Pearl River counties.

Intervention courts work to help participants change their lives. Nine members of the graduating class have earned a high school equivalency certificate. Ten babies born to graduates in this class were born drug-free.

The Fifteenth Circuit program is the second largest intervention court in the state, with 247 people currently enrolled. The program, which was founded in 2007, has 507 previous graduates.

Drug intervention courts in Mississippi marked a milestone of 10,000 graduates statewide in March 2023.

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.

Intervention courts are an alternative to incarceration. Taxpayers get the benefit of not paying to incarcerate people who can earn a living for themselves and support their families. Intervention courts since FY2006 have saved Mississippi taxpayers more than $1 billion. With requirements that participants pay all their fines and fees, intervention courts also return money to the counties. Fines paid by adult drug intervention court participants from FY 2006 through March of this year total$17,930,201. Fees paid by adult drug intervention court participants from FY 2006 through March total $22,939,031.

Babies’ lives are priceless. Drug-free babies born to intervention court participants represent another huge cost savings. Drug intervention courts have saved the state of Mississippi more than$701 million in societal costs for drug-free babies born to participants since FY 2006. The estimate assumes that without the care provided by intervention courts, drug addicted mothers would have given birth to babies with health issues that would require long-term medical care. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, each healthy, drug-free infant saves the state$750,000 during the first 18 years of life.