Elbert County Looking to Get a Jump on Setting Up Drug Court

December 11, 2012

The Elbert County Superior Court is getting a jump on getting its drug court up and running.

During its regular meeting last night, the Elbert County Commission approved a grant from the Accountability Court Funding Committee of over $70,000.

The Honorable Judge John Bailey was present during the meeting, and said the money would be delivered to the superior court through the county. Judge Bailey said the idea is to get a jump start and fit the new drug court to better suit our area.

“Our idea was that we thought we’d go ahead and try and get some of the grant money and get our court started. That way we can have our court established the way we want it to run and not wait for the legislature and the government come down with a one size fits all program that they’re going to force on everybody else”, explained Judge Bailey. “We kind of want to get ahead of the curve and get our court established.”

When asked by Commission Chair Tommy Lyon if he though it would work, Bailey said he was confident it will.

“What we are targeting are not people out selling drugs, we are targeting felony offenders whose offense has a drug addiction or drug abuse component with it, and it’s to treat the underline drug problem”, said Judge Bailey. “The idea is that it will be more power affected to treat them and get them back as being productive citizens than to incarcerate them with no treatment and have them come back out on the street after they serve the sentence and still have the same problem as they went in.”

Offenders who go through the drug court would have to participate in a mandatory 18 month program to rehabilitate their drug problem.

Judge Bailey said the hope is to have the drug court fully functional by the first of February.