Dec. 25, 2013 —
This graduating class was a special group, according to Phillips, as the largest such class the program has ever seen.
Each graduate has either a high school diploma or a GED which some completed during the program.
Judge Phillips volunteers her time to this program. Drug Court participants also are helped by Billy Ousley, the recovery coordinator, and Jessica Newman, case specialist. Many other members of the community also volunteer for the board.
“We are glad they are continuing to fund the program through the state,” Phillips said. “Obviously when the budget cuts were being discussed cutting all the programs was something that was discussed. At one point they put a cap on the number of participants we were allowed to have and at that time we were approximately ten people over, which meant we couldn't take anyone new. That cap has been lifted so as many participants as we can effectively manage then we want to take them in because we want to try and make this available to as many people as we can.”
Drug Court is administered through the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort, which oversees 55 adult programs that serve 115 counties. Drug Court’s mission is to provide court-supervised treatment as an alternative to incarceration.
For every $1 spent on Drug Court graduates, the state saves $2.72 on what it would have spent on incarcerating individuals.
During the graduation State Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott shared his personal family struggles and thoughts with addiction.
“Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer,” Scott said. “This is not seven individuals but it's seven families.”
“The only way to overcome addiction is to do it yourself. Your family can not do it for you.”
Sen. Robin Webb described it this way:
“Carter County Drug Court graduation was special tonight. The success and transformation of our folks moved me as usual. There were so many there to acknowledge and support them. Employers who stood by them, families torn by addiction, reunited. The drug court team, Judge Phillips and others honored their success. Children were clinging to their once detached parents and the glow of parental pride was evident.”