Drug court celebrates success

Saturday, May 3rd 2008, 10:55 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

The Oklahoma County drug court is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

While some people are focusing on the money the court saves taxpayers, others are celebrating the lives it has changed. The drug court is a collaboration between law enforcement and the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office. The more than 600 participant are tested and treated for drugs while attending court and getting self help every week.

Jesse Jackson struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for nearly two years, but with the help of the drug court, he said his life has changed for the better.

"I can only blame myself the choices were mine, now I choose to leave drugs and alcohol behind," Jackson said. "My heart has changed, my life has changed, I owe it pretty much to drug court pretty much.

For every non-violent drug offender who gets help from drug court rather than ending up in jail, taxpayers save about $15,000 a year, officials said. The program encourages people like Jackson and Judy Jenkins to take control of their own recovery.

"God brought me and He placed me under the wings of all His angels and that's all of the drug court people," Jenkins said.

She now has been clean for nearly a year, now she has a car, a job and a home.

"I'm heading nowhere but up and I have a positive attitude about myself and I owe it all to drug court," she said.