News

Eighth Circuit Drug Court graduation set for December 5

November 22, 2017

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. will be the guest speaker at the Eighth Judicial District Drug Court graduation on Dec. 5. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at Pine Grove Pentecostal Church, 3379 Pine Grove Road near Walnut Grove.

Circuit Judges Christopher A. Collins and Mark S. Duncan will preside. The public is invited.

Thirty-three participants set to graduate make up the largest graduating group in the Eighth District’s 13 years of operation, according to Drug Court Coordinator Marcus Ellis. The Drug Court began operation in January 2004. Graduates include 11 from Leake County, 11 from Scott County, eight from Neshoba County and three from Newton County.

The Drug Court requires a lengthy program of court supervision. Graduates have spent “five years of long, hard struggles to overcome addiction issues,” Ellis said.

With 323 participants enrolled in its programs, the Eighth District Drug Court is the largest in the state, according to State Drug Court Coordinator Joey Craft.

Chief Justice Waller said, “The increasing enrollment of the Eighth District Drug Court reflects the commitment of the judges, Drug Court staff and the treatment providers. The program accepts tough cases of drug and alcohol offenders and shepherds them to a path of sobriety. This work benefits not only the participants and their families, but extends to the community and the state. People who are able to productively support themselves and their families lessen the public tax burden and improve public safety.”

Drug courts seek to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with drug testing and frequent court appearances. Drug courts offer the incentive of a chance to remain out of jail, and the sanction of a jail sentence if participants fail to remain drug-free and in compliance with all program requirements.

Statewide, more than 3,600 people are enrolled in 42 drug courts. There are 22 adult felony programs, 14 juvenile programs, three misdemeanor programs and three family drug courts.


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