NATCHEZ, Miss. — An Adams County judge is speaking out against a proposal by the county’s Board of Supervisors to reduce county funding for an adult drug court.
Adams County Circuit Court Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders, who is the judge for the program, tells The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/2bOpdaJ ) that the court has had success in getting people off drugs and into jobs.
“We take participants and they become taxpayers because they have to work instead of being people out there in the street committing more crimes to get more drugs,” Sanders said.
She said participants in the court rarely commit additional crimes.
The proposed cut would drop drug court funding from $30,000 to $10,000.
Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said the proposed cut would put funding on a level with the only other counties in the state that contribute money to similar drug courts — Yazoo and Hinds. Sanders says other counties contribute to drug courts but not through specific line items.
Lazarus said the drug court is supposed to operate off of fees from the participants.
With prescription drug abuse being more common lately, Sanders said drug court does get people who have jobs coming in who can pay the fees. But some of the participants are coming in so strung out on harder drugs that it might take six months to a year to get them to where they can even hold down a job.
“We have to work with what we get,” she said. “We don’t get to pick and choose.
“You can’t pay drug court fees if you don’t have a job.”
The Adams County drug court also serves Wilkinson, Amite and Franlkin Counties. Sanders said most participants are from Adams.
Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/