“We were surprised and excited to hear the team won the award,” said St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Phil Seay, who oversees the county’s drug court.
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Michael Joiner presented the award to Seay during a Drug Court Conference Thursday.
Seay said the St. Clair County Drug Court has about 95 graduates since 2008 and another 45 people are in the class now.
“It is funded by the participants, not by the taxpayers,” Seay said of the local drug court, which was one of the first drug courts established in the state. “Participants must maintain employment.”
He said participants not only pay to participate in the drug court program, but also are responsible for paying all fines, restitutions and other costs prior to graduation, which at that time their case is dismissed.
Seay said the program is for only non-violent drug possession offenders.
“No distribution cases,” he said. “Prison sentence is imposed if they fail to complete the program. There is no probation.”
He said the drug court has seen much success.
Seay said since 2008 there are no repeat offenders of those who have completed the drug court program.
He said the drug court was in collaboration with the St. Clair County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Carol Boone serves on the six-member drug court team.
Other members of the drug court team include Director of Community Corrections Harvey Bell, Drug Court Coordinator Cindy Smith, Drug Court Counselor for New Pathways, and Joe Kemp, the attorney member of the Drug Court Team.
“We meet every Thursday,” Seay said.
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