The Standard Journal
Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Court celebrates new graduates
Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Court held its 36th graduation ceremony at the Haralson County Courthouse on Aug. 4, presided over by Chief Judge Meng Lim.
Graduates Dillin H. and Ashley B. were honored at the ceremony for completing the requirements of the program and becoming its 109th and 110th graduates.
Lydia Goodson, Executive Director of Mosaic Place, an addiction recovery support center located in Cedartown, was the guest speaker for the event. Ms. Goodson self identifies as a person in long term recovery and is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist (CARES), a recognized credential for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability. She concluded her speech with “the best is yet to come”.
Court Coordinator Vann Blankenship reports “since its inception in February 2004 the Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Intervention Program ( Drug Court) has been a unique partnership between the criminal justice system and our community. Through judicial guidance, treatment, community supervision and community support the Tallapoosa Drug Intervention Program seeks to reduce recidivism rates of those living with substance use disorder and other underlying challenges in the least restrictive environment.
“We seek to promote individual responsibility and reintegration to our community as productive members by assisting our participants in identification and removal of barriers to their recovery. To do this, a team was formed from representatives from the District Attorney’s office, Public Defender’s office, Department of Community Supervision, mental health and substance use treatment providers, and
DFCS all led by a presiding judge. Each stepping beyond their traditional roles for the common goal of recovery.”
Some requirements the two graduates met while in the program were maintaining full-time employment, paying supervision fees, abiding by curfew, attending community support meetings, serving community service hours, attending treatment three days a week, preparing for their GED if they do not have a diploma, attending two court session per month, and performing up to 25 drug screens per month.
The length of the program is a minimum of 24 months with most extending beyond for additional services to ensure sustainability of their recovery. It is a strenuous and demanding program that provides the participants hope and opportunity for a life without substances.
Judge Lim concluded the ceremony by presenting both graduates, surrounded by family and friends, with certificates of completion Special thanks were extended to the Polk and Haralson County Commissioners for their support as well as Rudy’s Street Food, located in Cedartown, who provided tacos for the ceremony.