Drug Court gets $25K grant

Published 2:08 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

Covington County Drug Court has been awarded a $25,000 grant that will help strengthen the program.
District Attorney Walt Merrell announced the grant Wednesday.

It is funded through the Alabama Office of Courts for the fiscal year 2017.

The Drug Court program is usually utilized for first-time offenders, who are charged with possession – not distribution. They essentially get a suspended sentence.

Through the program, offenders must complete their individualized treatment plan.

Some offenders go to rehab, but they must have regular meetings with case managers, frequent and random drug testings, required classes, job placement, community service and reporting to the case worker and the court on a regular basis.

Participants also must seek employment, pay fines and obtain a GED if they need one.

If the participant completes all required tasks, the charges are dismissed.

Merrell administers the program and Circuit Judge Lex Short handles the judicial matters of the program.

“Since 2012, the program has graduated 139 individuals,” Sabrina Cobb, Drug Court Coordinator said. “Currently, we have 86 participants in the program.”

Cobb said that the grant will aid Drug Court with purchasing drug testing supplies and providing team training all to fix the problem of drug addiction.