Four graduate from Wayne County Drug Court
WAY NE — Four people graduated from the Wayne County Adult Drug Court last week, bringing to 27 the number of people who have successfully completed the program since the drug court began operating in 2012.
The graduation ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 4, was held in the courtroom of Wayne County County Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt, who supervises the drug court.
Together the four graduates spent 2,404 days in the drug court program, according to a news release from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, which oversees all the state’s drug courts. All four graduates are now employed, three have attended college during the program and two are still enrolled. One had a child and got married. Two are now Narcotics Anonymous facilitators.
Residents of every county in West Virginia have access to one of the state’s 28 Adult Drug Courts, according to the state Supreme Court, and juveniles in 19 counties have access to the 15 Juvenile Drug Courts in West Virginia.
The West Virginia court system intends to continue adding drug courts as funds and personnel are available.
The goal of drug courts is to help participants overcome addictions that may have led them to commit crimes, thus improving the quality of life for them and their families. Turning people who might have become repeat offenders into productive citizens also improves public safety, according to the state Supreme Court. The programs can be more productive, cost-effective, and humane than incarceration for those who have committed non-violent crimes and are a low to moderate risk to be released into the community.
People who are registered as sex offenders or who have a prior conviction for a felony crime of violence are not eligible. Prosecutors and judges choose which offenders may participate.
According to information provided by Jennifer Bundy, public information officer for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, in late 2017 there were 818 drug court participants in the state. Cabell County had the most with 77; Boone and Lincoln counties combined have 53; Kanawha, 47; Logan, 26; McDowell, 20; Mingo, 22; Putnam, 26; Wayne, 24; and Wyoming, eight.