Dozens graduate from Drug Court Friday in Hattiesburg

Three dozen graduate from Drug Court
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:29 PM CDT
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LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Thirty-six people stepped across the stage this morning after completing a brand-new achievement: Graduating from 15th Circuit Drug Court.

Right now, 250 people are enrolled in the program to get sober, better themselves, fix broken relationships and start over.

“You know, all of us in life have challenging days and sometimes we make bad decisions and bad choices,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said. “But what these graduates say today is that they understand and recognize some of the bad decisions they made.

“They have a second chance, and now they’re taking advantage of it and it makes me want to smile.”

Not all of the enrollees graduate. In fact, some graduates talked about those who didn’t make it through the program.

The ones who did graduate (Friday) were surrounded by friends and family, the support systems who walked them through their second chance.

“I’m here (Friday) to celebrate that these individuals got the opportunity for a second chance at life and they’re taking advantage of it,” Reeves said. “I’m inspired by them and their work.”

Friday was a celebration.

Graduates had one shared achievement, but they also had individual achievements, as well.

Some said they were excited about new jobs, and some rejoiced in having their families back.

But they all managed to do what never thought was possible.

“I now work at the same jail that I was incarcerated in,” graduate Stevie Brewer said. “They gave me the opportunity to run the kitchen, so I am the food service director.

“I’m just very blessed and it’s all due to God.”

No matter how long they suffered with their addiction, they have all overcome that struggle (Friday).

“I was in addiction for 14 long years,” Brewer said. “I am now two years sober. It’s been a long journey, but I’m finished and I’m so proud of myself.

“I’ve came a long way.”

The 15th Circuit Court program is the second-largest intervention court in the state.

More than 500 people have graduated from the program since its beginning in 2007.

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