Cobb County’s Drug Treatment Court has five new graduates

She is pictured above with the five graduates and accountability court team members.Judge Mary Staley Clark is pictured above with the five graduates and accountability court team members. (photo courtesy of Cobb County Superior Court)

Cobb County Superior Court issued a news release announcing the graduation of five new graduates from the court’s innovative drug treatment court.

Cobb County has four such accountability courts that were created to provide alternatives to incarceration for individuals who need treatment and counseling rather than punishment.

For more details on Monday’s ceremony, read the news release reprinted below:

Jan. 11, 2022 – Judges and staff of the Superior Court of Cobb County congratulate five individuals who celebrated recovery and graduated from the Drug Treatment Court program on Monday.

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 presides over the accountability court. She is pictured above with the five graduates and accountability court team members.

“These are remarkable individuals,” she said. “The accountability I have witnessed is inspiring.”

Josh, 31, was in the program for four years.

“Several times I wanted to give up. But you can’t quit life,” he said. “Once I started to comply with the program, it helped me learn structure and how to not allow problems to get in my way of moving forward.”

Elizabeth, 25, spent three years in the program. She has since earned educational certificates and is embarking on a career in healthcare.

Through tears, she thanked program staff and also her parents, “for never leaving my side when I deserved to be left.”

Each graduate was presented with a certificate and a challenge coin, and each shared their appreciation for the staff and nonprofit groups that helped them get back on track.

Nearly 700 people have graduated from Cobb’s Drug Treatment Court. Many continue to support each other in their recovery, including through an alumni group.

A team that includes prosecution and defense attorneys, treatment counselors, probation officers, administrators and the presiding judge reviews each application for Drug Treatment Court and monitors admitted participants throughout. Punishment for violations can range from a night in jail to expulsion from the program.

Porsha Middlebrook is the Coordinator of Drug Treatment Court. Kayla Tomes and Brooke Comley are the Case Managers.

Various county and state offices collaborate in operating individual Accountability Courts. Additional support is provided by nonprofit groups including the Davis Direction Foundation, Restoring Lives Alliance, and WorkSource Cobb.

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.

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