Judge: Drug courts should be called responsibility courts
9:03 am, November 27th, 2012
The Calhoun Times carried an explanation of the work of drug courts, as told by two judges in a lunch and learn program for the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by the Gordon County District Attorney’s office. The speakers included Gordon County Superior Court Judge Scott Smith, who leads a drug court in Calhoun. He told the group a better name would be responsibility court because the program makes participants accountable and requires them to keep a job, work through their issues in counseling and stay free of drugs.
Since it began in 2008, Smith estimated the drug court has saved the county $80,000, comparing the cost of incarceration to the cost of the treatment program, the Times reported. But more important benefit, the judge said, is reuniting families that had been torn apart by drugs.
One of the graduates of the program also spoke to the chamber of the benefits of drug courts. The newspaper withheld the graduate’s name for privacy, but quoted him saying that the drug court gets to the root cause of the problem and helps people go from addicted, arrested and non-productive to working, contributing citizens.
Bartow Juvenile Court Judge Bell Tilley also spoke to the chamber group about the family drug court she leads in Cartersville, the story said. She said that program has reunited 30 children with their families after their parents became drug free. Methamphetamine is the main enemy that court’s participants fight.