Thirty-four graduate from Forrest-Perry County Drug Court. - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Thirty-four graduate from Forrest-Perry County Drug Court.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The largest class for the Forrest Perry County Drug Court since the programs inception walked on stage and received their diplomas Monday.

Drug Court is a three-year intensive program that requires participants to meet with the court on a daily basis. They also must attend daily self help sessions and they are drug tested at least twice weekly.

The program is designed to help first time offenders get off drugs and give them an alternative to jail.

"It costs about $15,000 a year to put some in prison and they can go through drug court for about $1,500," said Bob Helfrich, Circuit Court Judge. "When Phil Bryant was our auditor he said that for every 100 participants the state saves about one-million-dollars. And we have 260 participants at this time."

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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