The Northeastern Judicial Circuit has successfully transitioned Drug Court and HELP Court to evening sessions in Hall County. The change comes after recognizing the need to better suit its participants and to help lessen the demand for courtroom space during the court’s normal 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. operating hours.
Switching to night court sessions has made it easier for participants to attend because it accommodates more of their work and childcare schedules.
“Transitioning to an evening court schedule has been a vision of our judges for many years and we are excited to finally bring this to fruition,” said Treatment Services Director Jessi Emmett.
Drug Court leader Superior Court Judge Jason J. Deal stated, “Participants are required to work a full-time job. Switching to night court is not only beneficial for those in the program but for their employers as well.”
Helping participants manage program requirements such as this has always been important to the circuit’s judges. Pushing to make the necessary adjustments to schedules was well worth the efforts. Superior Court Judge Clint G. Bearden (pictured) said, “While our version of ‘Night Court’ looks much different than the old tv show, I do feel we’ve borrowed some of its ‘out of the box’ thinking to come up with a practical solution for participants and court personnel.”
The new schedule has Drug Court convening at 5:00 p.m. and HELP Court at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday.