Drug Court Open House Marks New Beginning for Graduates

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Drug Court graduate Jordan Smith hugs program supervisor Chris Winters as retired Judge James Harvey looks on.

Published on May 21 2012 1:54 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A new beginning is what is the goal of the latest group of graduates from Effingham County Drug Court.

The annual Open House for the new group of graduates was held Friday.  This year's group of graduates includes Jeremy Bridges, Josh Germer, Kirk Hall, Adam Mankin, Brianne Martin, Jordan Smith and Colby Strader.

Drug Court is an option in criminal cases where drug related offenses are involved.  If suspected offenders are eligible, they can participate in Drug Court and, if they successfully complete the program, will not face further prosecution.  If they're unsuccessful, their case is resumed in criminal court.

The Drug Court regimen includes frequent checks for drug use and some treatment methodology.  Drug Court, which is operated by the Effingham County Probation Department, also includes incentives for good behavior.  Typically, a Drug Court participant has someone or a group of someones to serve as a support system during the months-long program.

The Drug Court graduates this year, as in years past, thanked those who helped them the most with a floral tribute.  A surprise this year, though, is when one of the graduates presented her flowers to Chris Winters, who oversees the Drug Court program for the Probation Department.  Tears flowed freely, particularly when the presentation was made to Winters.

Guest speakers included retired Circuit Judge James Harvey, who oversaw the start-up of Drug Court in Effingham County, as well as an alumnus of Drug Court who has continued to do well without illegal substances.