Five graduate from Cobb County’s Drug Treatment Court

Judge Mary Staley Clark with graduates (from left) James, Jason, John and Joel.Judge Mary Staley Clark with graduates (from left) James, Jason, John and Joel. (photo courtesy of Cobb County Superior Court)

Five participants in the Cobb County Drug Treatment Court graduated Monday. The court is one of four accountability courts, set up as an alternative to incarceration.

The news release for the graduation described the purpose of the courts as follows:

The intensive program, suited for criminal offenders who are generally non-violent, lasts a minimum of two years and aims to treat an individual’s underlying addictions and return him or her to a productive member of society while reducing incarceration costs.

Judge Mary Staley Clark recently became presiding judge of the Drug Treatment Court.


“You persevered and kept going,” she told the graduates at the celebration. “It takes enormous courage to do a program like this. You dug deeper into your mind, your heart, your soul.”

The news release described the program and it’s effect to two of the graduates:

Joel, 42, entered the program in December 2019, and during his time in the program has grown his business, gotten married, and become a father. 

“Life as I knew it has taken on a whole new meaning,” he said. “Drug Court provided me with the tools and resources, along with structure and accountability, to achieve and maintain a sober and happier life.”

Each graduate introduced family and friends who were attending in person or via Zoom, and thanked the staff and nonprofit groups that helped them get back on track. 

Jason, 44, began Drug Court in summer 2019. “I have my life back,” he proclaimed. 

More than 650 people have graduated from Cobb’s Drug Treatment Court. Many continue to support each other in their recovery, including through an alumni group.

About the Accountability Courts

Materials distributed by Cobb County Superior Court describe Cobb’s four accountability courts as follows:

Cobb Superior Court has four such courts: Drug Treatment Court, which includes both regular and intermediate tracks; Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court; Mental Health Court; and Parental Accountability Court. Various county and state offices collaborate with the judges and staff in operating individual accountability courts.

The purpose of the accountability court program is to provide an alternative to incarceration for individuals who need counseling and treatment rather than punishment.