Drug Court celebrates graduates

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

41 complete rigorous rehab program

On Tuesday, Sept. 12,  the Third Judicial District Drug Court held a graduation ceremony, marking a significant milestone for the court and its participants. A total of 41 individuals from Oxford and New Albany were honored for successfully completing the court’s rigorous rehabilitation program.

The ceremony began with an invocation and welcome by Lyndsey Woods, the Drug Court coordinator, followed by introductory remarks from the Circuit Judge Kelly Luther. 

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The guest speaker was former coordinator Brandon Vance. 

Two graduates, Kristen Tracey and Gracey Erickson, shared testimonials, emphasizing the transformative impact of the program on their lives. 

The ceremony concluded with the recognition of graduates by the Drug Court team and closing remarks from the Circuit Judge Gray Tollison.

The court, which has been operational since April 17, 2008, and currently enrolls 254 participants, focuses on rehabilitation over incarceration. Participants are enrolled in a minimum three-year program that includes random drug testing and weekly meetings led by a judge. 

Most charges are expunged upon successful completion, offering participants a fresh start.

The effectiveness of the program is underscored by its low recidivism rate. The Third Judicial District Drug Court reports a recidivism rate of just 2.9 percent, compared to a general recidivism rate of 35.4 percent for similar offenses.

Beyond the individual participants, the program has broader societal benefits. According to court officials, the Drug Court has positively affected the lives of the families of those enrolled, fulfilling its mission to enhance public safety and improve community well-being.

The Drug Court runs under the guidance of judges Kelly Luther and Gray Tollison; coordinator Lyndsey Woods; field officers Beverly Corder, Phillip Talford and Pete Samples; MDOC probation officer Brittany Warren; and treatment coordinator RaeAnn Howell.