Another Class Graduates From Mississippi's Drug Court Program

A program that began in 1995 is sweeping across Mississippi due to its widespread success.

Drug Court is a three year program that closely monitors drug addicts on their road to recovery. Thursday, the second graduating class from the 19th Judicial District Drug Court in Lucedale officially completed the rehabilitation program.

This group of very special graduates is being given a second chance at life.

"My uncle and my aunt both overdosed on meth. I watched both of them die. I have had friends die in front of me," said 2006 graduate Elishia Musgrove.

Musgrove, like her fellow graduates, has had quite a checkered past.

"I went from the marijuana to the cocaine to the meth. Meth is a soul snatcher," said Mosgrove.

After completing a vigorous drug rehabilitation program, she has reclaimed her life. Judge Kathy King Jackson spoke to the crowd of graduates, their friends and family.

"Look over here at these people. Three years ago they were not the same people. Family members can vouch for that. They were not working, they were not taking care of their children, they were not paying their bills. They were not doing any of that, but today they are," said Judge Jackson.

Musgrove's aunt Willie Davis says this program has saved her niece's life.

"If she hadn't gotten into Drug Court, she would be in the graveyard somewhere," said Davis.

A proud 2006 graduate addressed the audience.

"Our greatest freedom today, is freedom from addiction."

It's a freedom they all hold dear.

"You go out here today and you don't know what your future holds. You know what your past holds and you have learned lessons from that past. But what the future holds is up to you," said guest speaker Judge David Ishee.

Musgrove has a message for those currently struggling with drug addiction.

"There is only two paths to take and that is prison or death. Those are your only choices if you stay with it," said Musgrove.

After successful completion of the program, graduates criminal records are erased.

The state of Mississippi currently has 16 drug court programs.

By the way, Musgrove says her ultimate goal now is to become a drug councilor for teenagers.