Drug Courts Turn Addicts Around

Recently twelve individuals graduated from a drug court in Jackson County. In prior years these individuals would be serving a lengthy prison term at Parchman. But thanks to the Drug Court, these individuals get a second chance at life. The individuals must go thorough a strict program of education and drug testing that helps them overcome the drugs they are addicted to.

In fact one recent drug court graduate said, "when I first came, I was barely able to have a conversation with somebody, I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame and a lack of hope." Now this person and many others, thanks to the Drug Court, are able to hold a job and support their families instead of having the state incarcerate them and we the taxpayers pay for their food and board.

The drug court program costs taxpayers about $2500 for each individual while it costs nearly $15,000 a year to keep an inmate at Parchman. Circuit Court Judge Kathy King recently stated that she has been on the bench long enough to realize that sending people to prison who were addicts didn't help anything. Currently there are 21 Drug court programs across Mississippi with 2500 graduates. We hope drug courts become a tool that is used in every Mississippi County.

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David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager