The Appalachian Judicial Circuit Accountability Courts held a graduation ceremony for the Drug Court program and the Family Drug Court program on February 12, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Ellijay, Georgia. Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda S. Weaver and ChiefJuvenile Court Judge John Worcester led the ceremony for the 11 graduates of Drug Court and the 3 Family Drug Court graduates. In attendance were the participants from all the Accountability Courts of the Circuit, including the Drug Court, Family Drug Court, Veterans Court, Mental Health Court and DRC Lite program, elected officials including Superior Court Judge Amanda Mercier and District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, family members and friends of the graduates and participants, local NA and AA sponsors, community recovery program members and Accountability Court Team members and staff. Circuit Public Defender Michael Parham was a keynote speaker.
The Drug Court has been in operation for over 12 years and the Family Drug Court was established 9 years ago.
The graduates complete a two year intensely supervised program, where the Court system partners with treatment programs. Prior to reaching graduation the participants must be clean and sober for a full year, which is monitored by random drug screens at least three times a week, complete all treatment recommendations, attend at least 2 NA or AA meetings a week throughout the program, acquire and maintain employment and obtain their GED or High School Diploma if needed.
The graduates must give a short speech about the progress they made while in the program and family members and friends are given an opportunity to express their thoughts and congratulations to the participant. The graduates receive a plaque and a keepsake coin from the Judge.
The graduation ceremony is an occasion to celebrate the graduate’s completion of the program requirements, acknowledge their progress while in the program and to propel them forward into a lifetime of recovery.