Largest drug court graduates

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Friends and families of drug offenders poured into the Columbiana United Methodist Church last Friday to attend Shelby County’s largest drug court graduation.

Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner said 30 people graduated from drug court, ending their year of intense treatment and observation.

Ten of those graduated from a deferred program for lesser drug offenses, he said.

In order to graduate participants were required to go through one year of random drug testing, attend treatment sessions they were referred to and pay a $1,200 supervision fee, he said.

Their testing had to show they were clean for a four month period before they could qualify for graduation, he said.

Joiner said he is excited about the programs success and expects continued growth.

&uot;I feel great,&uot; he said. &uot;We have given 20 people a new chance at life and they have taken advantage of it.&uot;