Five men graduate from Drug Treatment Court

·2 min read

Oct. 5—Judges and staff of the Superior Court of Cobb County congratulate five men who celebrated recovery and completed the Drug Treatment Court program on Oct. 4.

The intensive program, suited for criminal offenders who are generally non-violent, lasts a minimum of two years and aims to treat an individual's underlying addictions and return him or her to a productive member of society while reducing incarceration costs.

Judge Mary Staley Clark recently took over as presiding judge of this accountability court program.

"You persevered and kept going," she told the graduates at the start of the celebration. "It takes enormous courage to do a program like this. You dug deeper into your mind, your heart, your soul."

Joel, 42, entered the program in December 2019, and during his time in the program has grown his business, gotten married and become a father.

"Life as I knew it has taken on a whole new meaning," he said. "Drug Court provided me with the tools and resources, along with structure and accountability, to achieve and maintain a sober and happier life."

Each graduate introduced family and friends who were attending in person or via Zoom, and thanked the staff and nonprofit groups that helped them get back on track.

Jason, 44, began Drug Court in summer 2019. "I have my life back," he proclaimed.

More than 650 people have graduated from Cobb's Drug Treatment Court. Many continue to support each other in their recovery, including through an alumni group.

A team that includes prosecution and defense attorneys, treatment counselors, probation officers, administrators and the presiding judge reviews each application for Drug Treatment Court and monitors admitted participants throughout. Punishment for violations can range from a night in jail to expulsion from the program.

Porsha Middlebrook is the Coordinator of Drug Treatment Court. Kayla Tomes is the Case Manager.

Various county and state offices collaborate in operating individual Accountability Courts. Additional support is provided by nonprofit groups including the Davis Direction Foundation, Restoring Lives Alliance and WorkSource Cobb.

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