HAMLIN -– Justice Brent D. Benjamin will be the keynote speaker at the South Western Regional Drug Court graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
Three adults will graduate from the program after spending an average of a year in the intensive supervision drug court system. They are among 56 people currently in the program. This is the second group of graduates that has passed through the drug court that serves Boone, Lincoln, and Logan Counties since it began accepting clients in January 2009.
Adult Treatment Courts were implemented in West Virginia in 2003 with the opening of a regional mental health court serving Brooke, Hancock, Ohio and Marshall counties. The state's first adult drug court opened in August 2005 in the same four counties. As of January 2011, the state has 14 regional adult drug courts serving 29 of 55 counties and one regional mental health court serving in four counties.
Adult Treatment Courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services and/or mental health treatment services with criminal justice system case processing. The goal is to reduce recidivism, reduce substance abuse, reduce costs of incarceration, and enhance community safety and quality of life for citizens.
Treatment teams consist of judges, magistrates, prosecutors, defense counsel, treatment providers, day report center employees, law enforcement personnel, probation officers, court staff, and others.
Through a non-adversarial team approach, criminal offenders who abuse or are addicted to substances are offered a minimum one-year program of treatment, education, community service, and other rehabilitative services as an alternative to traditional criminal justice processing.
This occurs under ongoing intensive judicial supervision, including frequent alcohol and drug testing, in order to achieve abstinence and help the offender become a productive, law-abiding, and tax-paying citizen.