Judge Lori Ingram sits on the bench every week handing down rulings and now she has a new duty to add to her list. as drug court judge.
"The goal here is to get treatment for these defendants so we can get them out of the cycle of committing crimes," said Ingram.
Officials started working on the program in November 2012 and now have a few participants.
There are three ways you can enter the program.
"Track one is where you apply to the DA before you've been convicted," Circuit Judge Butch Binford.
And if you successfully complete the program your case could be dismissed
Track two comes if you are convicted and placed on probation.
"Track three is where you've already been convicted and placed on probation and because of drug use you face the potential of having your probation revoked and going to the penitentiary," said Judge Binford.
But the process all begins with an application to get into the program.
"The drug court team meets every two weeks to go over the list of applicants and determine whether the applicants meet the criteria for drug court," added Judge Ingram.
Some disqualifying factors include a violent felony conviction, burglary or drug trafficking.
Treatment usually lasts one year to year and a half.
"Getting them the help they need will help our society and community. Evidence has shown that this works," said Judge Ingram.
Judge Ingram says that evidence is in a decreased number of crimes and fewer people in jail.
The program treatment consists of drug screenings and classes.
If participants haven't complied or fail a drug screen the judge issues a sanction, like community service or time in jail.
The program is funded through grants.
Talladega County is now the only county in Alabama that doesn't have the Drug Court program.
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