Sixteen people will graduate from Hall County Drug Court Friday, the largest number of graduates since the program's inception.
As the first accountability court program in Hall County, Drug Court began in February 2001 to provide early intervention to those with substance abuse issues.
"Our goal is to provide the necessary structure and treatment to address these issues so our graduates can lead productive and meaningful lives," said Debbie Mott, director of Hall County Treatment Services.
Mott said the participants spend two years in the program, which encompasses drug screens, court appearances, mentorship opportunities, counseling sessions and more. In the end, she said it's more than just the graduates whose lives are changed.
"Among these sixteen graduates, two of them are working to get their nursing licenses reinstated, three have become the program's strongest mentors and most have regained everything they lost due to their addiction," Mott said. "To date, 51 drug-free babies have been born to Drug Court participants, and 87 percent of the participants are employed. This program is making a difference."
Hall County Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, who presides over Drug Court, said the program is about making drug offenders accountable for their actions.
"It's bringing about a behavioral change that reduces criminal recidivism and provides the tools and resources needed to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs," Deal said. "By utilizing a treatment model for rehabilitation, we not only restore the lives of our participants but strengthen their families and our community as a whole."
The graduation ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, July 24 at First Baptist Church on Green Street. This marks Hall County Drug Court's 74th commencement ceremony with 530 graduates to date.