The number one reason a person ends up in Parchman or even a local jail is because of a drug habit. Our jails are full of people who have been convicted of possessing a wide range of drugs. But there is hope for those who are willing to make a change in their lives.
Drug court gives some people facing legal trouble an option to go through the program and if they succeed have the charges dropped and their records expunged. Participants who recently graduated from Harrison County's Drug Court said recovery is not easy, but the payoff is better than they could have imagined.
As one recent graduate said, "you start because you have to because you don't want to go to jail. Then you start seeing it's not a bad life to live. It's actually a great life. You're sober. You're able to do things."
We need to get more individuals into drug courts across our state. Instead of housing them at Parchman where taxpayers have to pay the tab, we need more individuals given the chance to turn their lives around and be productive citizens. Programs such as these should be expanded and hopefully in the future we can build fewer prison cells.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager