Drug Court graduates 13, honors founder

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Thirteen people are set to graduate from drug court. May is National Drug Court month and a ceremony will celebrate the 48th graduation exercise for the state’s second oldest felony drug court.

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on May 28th, on the second floor of the Hinds County Courthouse at 407 East Pascagoula Street in Jackson.

During the ceremony, Representative Alyce Griffin Clarke will be honored for her role in founding the Hinds County Drug Court which began in 2000. Circuit Judge Winston Kidd, who oversees the Hinds Circuit Drug Court, will preside.

Additional legislation was later passed in 2003 that established a framework for drug courts statewide which have saved lives and tax dollars. The legislation is known as the Alyce Griffin Clarke Drug Court Act.

Drug courts work to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with drug testing and frequent court appearances. They have seen positive results and are able to provide participants access to resources and opportunities they need by coordinating the efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense counsel, probation, law enforcement, treatment, mental health, and social service providers. The interdisciplinary approach offers participants the opportunity to become productive, law-abiding citizens, which reduces recidivism and provides for healthier communities.

Currently, Mississippi has 40 drug courts, including 22 adult felony programs, three adult misdemeanor programs, 12 juvenile drug courts, and three family drug courts.

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