LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Superior Court Judge James Tunison Jr. announced a new Accountability Court for Lowndes County at the County Commission planning meeting February 5th.
The goal of the court is to help offenders struggling with drug addiction and mental health problems.
Participants stay in the program for 18-24 months, getting treatment through a 4 phase process before transitioning out.
Judge Tunison says the court aims to help rehabilitate offenders with addiction and mental health problems in an effort to keep them from repeating behaviors that landed them in trouble with the law.
"The recidivism rate for people that are addicted to drugs and that have mental health disorders is very high. So the model of arresting them and jailing them for drug addiction and mental health problems is not working," explains Judge Tunison.
Participants work with 7 team members to gain sobriety and accountability.
The program received $64,403 worth of federal funding and the county was required to match $7,156, which came from contingency funds.
The Lowndes County Accountability Court will have its inaugural session February 26, 2016.