Joiner leaves a legacy

Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner will leave the Shelby County Circuit Court Feb. 25. He’ll move on to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, where he will no doubt do an outstanding job serving our state and representing Shelby County.

However, Joiner’s legacy in Shelby County will live on. Joiner, a life-long county resident, created the Shelby County Drug Court in 2002.

The Shelby County Drug Court has helped improve the lives of more than 1,000 graduates. Currently, 200 participants are going through the drug court process.

Joiner also co-chaired a statewide Drug Court Task Force to implement drug courts in all of Alabama’s 67 counties.

Every drug court graduate, both in this county and across the state, only adds to Joiner’s legacy. Instead of simply banishing those who struggle with drugs to a hard life in prison, Joiner viewed such cases with a compassionate eye and worked to find a way to help drug addicts.

Because of him, more than 1,000 county residents — and countless Alabama citizens — got chances to turn their lives around.

We wish Judge Joiner the best of luck and success on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, and we hope he will put his creative problem-solving and compassionate heart to work while he’s there.

Gov. Robert Bentley has a tall order to appoint a new Shelby County Circuit Court judge, and the new judge, whoever he or she may be, will have big shoes to fill.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.