Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit holds drug court graduation

Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Court graduate Kristy Cathcart (center) holds her graduation certificate along with Court Coordinator Vann Blankenship (left) and Chief Judge Meng Lim during a ceremony on June 9 at the Polk County Courthouse.

The Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Court held its 35th graduation ceremony at the Polk County Courthouse on June 9 as presided over by Chief Judge Meng Lim.

Graduate Kristy Cathcart spoke of the importance of drug court and how it literally saved her life.

"If it wasn't for Judge Lim allowing me to be in this program I would not be who I am today. He learns about your background, where you came from, and asks if there is anything he can do to help. And I'm glad for that," Cathcart said.

"After being an addict for 23 years ... nothing but doing drugs all day, every day. In and out of jail, prison, rehab, boot camp. Then I got an opportunity. The Lord opened a door for me to be in drug court, and I put all my hard work in it and did everything I had to do on time, no trouble, no sanctions. I did everything to the best of my ability, and I thank God for drug court."

In concluding remarks, Lim told the audience of approximately 100 citizens that drug court works and it is an economical use of taxpayers dollars.

"It costs approximately $42 per day to incarcerate a citizen of our state that is living with substance use. Treatment in drug court costs only $7.58 per day,” Lim said. “I am proud of Kristy for her effort and commitment to stay drug free. Kristy is the 108th graduate of drug court and employment for drug court participants is at 95%."

Lim, along with Court Coordinator Vann Blankenship, presented Cathcart with not only a certificate of graduation, but a handmade ring, made out of one of the coins used to acknowledge recovery time.

Drug court is one of three accountability courts within our district serving to reduce crime, recidivism, and impact the lives of its participants, their families, and the community.

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