Juvenile drug court graduates 64 percent in 9 years

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - (WTAP) In the nearly 10 years since it was established, the Wood County Juvenile Drug Court has graduated nearly two-thirds of its students.

Source: MGN

Judge Darren Tallman gave Wood County Commission his annual report on the court's success on Monday.

Fifteen juveniles are currently in the program, which Tallman said is the average since it began in 2010.

While not everyone successfully completes the program, Tallman said he often hears from some of those who have.

"We have some kids who are in college," he said. "We have kids who work in local establishments around the city. "Once in a while, one of the graduates will tell me how they're doing. Most are doing OK, and some are doing quite well."

But Tallman said he recently attended the funeral of a drug-overdose victim and that the program has had its share of those unable to complete it.

The drug court, he says, has its sanctions. They include spending extra time in the program, being placed on house arrest and short periods of incarceration.

Long-time drug-court volunteer Jeff Thomas was surprised at Monday's meeting with the program's "Hero of Hope" award, presented in the past to other staff members.

The Wood County Juvenile Drug Court is the second-longest continuous drug court in West Virginia.