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Program recognized for clean-up efforts
Drug Court Grad pic
Superior Court Judge Jason Deal holds up a mug shot taken when Joe Toal was arrested for drug possession in 2008. Toal, right, was one of several graduates who were celebrated for completing Dawson County Treatment Court on Nov. 18. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Dawson County Treatment Court participants received an unexpected recognition during the court’s graduation ceremony Nov. 18 when they were named Volunteers of the Year for community cleanup efforts.


Keep Dawson County Beautiful presented the court with a plaque and thanked the dozens of volunteers who attended several community cleanup events sponsored by the group in the last year.


Executive Director Cathy Brooks presented the award.


“This group of individuals has shown, on more than one occasion in the last couple of years, a willingness to step up and give back to their community,” Brooks said. “This is a great group of individuals and I admire each of you for the challenges you have stepped up to meet.”


Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, who presides over treatment court, said these recognitions are an indication that rehabilitation programs like drug and DUI court work.


“We have some really good people that made some bad choices, but over time, through recovery, they can really get back to being good people, making good choices and giving back,” he said.


Since its creation in 2006, Dawson County Treatment Court has seen 28 people complete the drug tract, 48 graduating from the DUI tract and 30 graduating from the misdemeanor marijuana tract.


“We’ve also had eight folks obtain their GED. We’ve had three babies born to participants that were drug free and we’ve had seven babies born to significant others of participants,” Deal said.


The court has also started holding blood drives. So far, participants have donated 26 pints of blood.