New court can make a difference

Published 6:08 am Wednesday, February 27, 2008

By Staff
After years of frustration, watching families fall apart and children suffer under the burdens of substance abuse, a group of child advocates in Brewton finally had enough last summer.
The Children's Policy Council formed a task force that quickly development the outline for a family drug court, a new way of trying to face the drug problem in our community.
Modeled after the existing criminal drug court - with similar accountability measures - the new family drug court's goal is to reunite families and create a safe, drug-free environment for children.
The passion of those involved in this new program is unmistakable - and it might be matched only by their organization. In a few short months, the drug court has evolved from frustration to fruition.
With the first court session scheduled for Friday and two participants signed up, drug court partners are looking forward to making a difference in the community.
But they need our help. This is a new way to look at an old problem - and it takes a bit of a leap of faith, not only on their part but on ours as well.
We believe this new drug court, like its criminal counterpart, can be successful and can finally make a dent in the years-long problem of substance abuse in our community.
But the court needs community support. Some may choose to look at this new method as being “soft on crime.” It isn't. In the first place, this is a civil court, not a criminal one. And the attention and support that participants will receive is light years from the lock-them-up and throw-away-the-key method that hasn't worked yet and leaves children to be raised without their parents.
We have a great opportunity with this new program to turn a corner in the war on drugs in our community. We are excited about the drug court and the possibilities that lie ahead - and our support is firmly behind those involved.

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