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Drug court recognizes graduates

Program has 36 participants

POSTED: December 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo/Michele Hester/

Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, right, congratulates Jeremy Adams, one of three graduates, who successfully completed Dawson County's Drug Court. The treatment court is a 24-month program that focuses on creating positive life choices, increasing family relations, employment and fiscal responsibility, in addition to decreasing criminal behavior recidivism, substance abuse and health risks. Upon completion, the felony charges of graduates are dismissed.

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More than three years have passed since Jeremy Adams had his first run-in with Dawson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jennifer Wright.

  

Adams began Aug. 25, 2005, like he did most other days that summer, by waking up and dragging himself out of bed.

  

While he had a decent job, the young husband and father wasn’t concerned about eating breakfast or even going to work.

  

Adams’ drug addiction that ran between $700-800 a week was, in the words of Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, “taking everything he had.”

  

But on Nov. 20, Deal was the first to congratulate Adams, one of three participants to complete the county’s inaugural Drug Court program.

  

The 24-month treatment focuses on creating positive life choices and increasing family relations, employment and fiscal responsibility. It also works to lower criminal behavior, substance abuse and health risks.

  

Established under Deal’s guidance in 2006, Dawson County’s hybrid drug and DUI court created an alternative to jail for offenders, who voluntarily enter a guilty plea and accept two years of treatment.

  

Their felony drug charges are dismissed after they complete the program.

  

As Deal related at the graduation, Adams left home the day he was arrested, plotting to find enough money for his daily fix.

  

Adams once again found himself at his father’s house on Perimeter Road, taking tools he could sell.

  

Driving around that day waiting to score the drugs, Adams was pulled over by Wright for a routine traffic stop, Deal said.

  

Arrested and taken into custody, Adams faced burglary and drug charges, in addition to reckless conduct for having his toddler daughter in the vehicle near the drugs, according to the indictment.

  

After two years of constant monitoring, group and individual meetings and weekly drug screenings, on Thursday, Wright presented Adams with documentation that his charges had been dismissed during the Drug Court graduation.

  

Deal was reminded of a conversation the two had the day Adams volunteered for the program.

  

“How well or how poorly you do will reflect on the program,” Deal said. “Many people are watching to see how well or how poorly this program works.

  

“Certainly, he has done well. He deserves to be our first graduate. He’s become a better father, a better husband, a friend.”

  

Accepting his certificate, Adams thanked those who were there for him on his journey.

  

“I don’t have a lot to say,” Adams said.

  

“There are so many people that helped me along the way.”

  

Currently, drug court has 36 participants, men and women. The next drug court graduation is scheduled for February.

  

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

 

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