For the last month, social media has been flooded with kindergartener and high school graduates from all over Vicksburg and Warren County. We have seen thousands of posts from proud families naturally wanting to acknowledge their loved ones’ achievements.
However, a different graduation ceremony was held Thursday night in Vicksburg. on the second floor of the courthouse. These graduates are also deserving of recognition for their hard work.
30 men and women graduated from the 9th Circuit Court District Intervention Court Thursday at 5:30 p.m. This is more commonly referred to as drug court.
Drug court is a highly structured probationary court focused on rehabilitation for felony drug offenders, but excludes drug dealers. The program, presided over by Judge M. James Chaney, Jr. and Judge Toni Walker-Terrett, “mandates inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment, frequent drug testing, court appearances, unannounced home visits, 12-step program meetings, employment and/or depending upon the individual’s needs, attending General Education Development (GED) classes,” according to the drug court website.
Participants are given a chance to follow the program and stay sober. If successful, their convictions may be set aside and expunged.
If the participants violate the rules, the offender is faced with serving their original sentence.
Sharonda Taylor, Ninth Circuit Intervention Court Coordinator, said, “Seeing the graduates and the work they’ve put into their own self-improvement as well as the work our staff has put into assisting them is amazing.”
Taylor also said, “I didn’t know any of them in active addiction, but seeing them where they are now is heart-warming and terrific.”