I got weepy in court
Yesterday, I accompanied Assistant County Manager, Sybil Tate, to the Person County Courthouse for a special court proceeding. I had never been in a courtroom before and I’m glad that my first experience was for a really positive purpose. We went to the Drug Treatment Court graduation ceremony.
Drug Treatment Court is a rehabilitation program carried out by the Person County judicial system. They help people who have been charged with drug related crimes get treatment for their substance abuse issues rather than going to jail. In the case of the man who graduated yesterday, all of his charges were dropped upon successful completion of the program. The assistance district attorney (ADA) described this program as redemption for the participants. They are able to learn how to live without their addictions and have people who are there to make sure they stay on track. Because this program is tied to the court system, there are weightier incentives because the alternative to getting clean is going to prison.
Of course, Drug Treatment Court does not save everyone, and participants have many bumps in the road before reaching graduation. For this reason, the graduation is a big deal and a celebration of the participants’ success. I couldn’t help but get a little weepy as I listened to the graduate talk about his road to recovery and being able to prove that he could change. Needless to say, this wasn’t what I was expecting when we went to court, but it proved to be an example of the role government can have in helping people.