Marshall County receives National Drug Court Institute grant

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General Sessions Judge Lee Bussart and Lewisburg City Court Judge Barbara Medley in partnership with District Attorney Robert J. Carter, Public Defender Donna Hargrove, Sheriff Billy Lamb, the Marshall County Commissioners, the State of Tennessee and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) are establishing the first Marshall County Recovery Court. NADCP sets the best practices for operating recovery courts across the country. Marshall County received grant funding to participate in an intensive three day implementation training. Completion of the NADCP training earns Marshall County priority eligibility for federal grant funding in the future.

The mission of the Marshall County Recovery Court is to enhance public safety through providing judicially supervised, evidence-based, integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment to offenders with the goal of reducing recidivism, restoring sober, law-abiding citizens to society and reducing the cost of addiction; thereby, building a stronger, safer community.

Nationally, recovery courts reduce drug use and recidivism by 50 to 75%. Recovery Courts also save between $3.00 and $27.00 for every dollar invested.

Currently 86 of 95 counties in Tennessee have some type of recovery court which include Substance Abuse, Veterans, Mental Health, Juvenile, DUI, Family and Human Trafficking Recovery Courts. Each is focused on the specialized needs of those groups which are not properly addressed under the traditional criminal justice system. The Marshall County Recovery Court will address misdemeanor cases and focus on high risk, high need individuals.

The State of Tennessee is providing $50,000 to assist in creating the Court and once established, the court will be eligible to request up to $500,000 in federal funds. Recovery Court will also partner with local business for employment opportunities, so that the participants, through their earnings, will contribute to the cost of the program.

The Court will begin accepting participants on July 1, 2020, and will serve litigants in both General Sessions and City Court.

Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

Pictured are the current members of the Recovery Court Team, TN Department of Mental Health, and the faculty members of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals who held an intensive three day implementation meeting last week. 

Front row, seated: National Drug Court Institute Faculty: Christy Jindra, Judge Peggy Davis, Marilyn Gibson, and Jon Zollner.

Back row, standing: Betsy Burton (Recovery Court Clerk), Jenna Robl (State of Tennessee Recovery Court), Doug Neeley (Assistant Public Defender), Judge Lee Bussart, Judge Barbara Medley, William Bottoms (Assistant District Attorney), Linda Bassham (Recovery Court Coordinator), and Carrie Hebel (Maury Regional Hospital Primecare Nurse Practitioner)

Not pictured: Bob Johnson (Marshall County Sheriff’s Office) and Rebekah Provost Emmons (Recovery Court Administrator TN Dept. of Mental Health)

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