Lauderdale County Court Judge Veldore Young will preside over the Drug Court. Senior Circuit Judge Robert Bailey assigned Judge Young to sit as a special circuit judge for the purpose of handling all cases assigned to the drug court.
The first participant entered the program Aug. 4. The program is expected to be able to accommodate 75 people.
The Drug Court will accept first offenders charged with felony drug possession. Participants must plead guilty to charges when they enter the Drug Court program. Adjudication of charges will be withheld pending their successful completion of the program. Some can be eligible to have their records wiped clean after they successfully complete the program.
The Office of the District Attorney must approve a referral to Drug Court. Then the Drug Court team will screen the person for possible acceptance.
The program in the beginning will focus on participants from Lauderdale County. The program could later be expanded to accept people referred from Clarke, Kemper and Wayne counties, which are also in the 10th Circuit District.
The creation of the 10th District Drug Court brings the total of drug courts in operation across the state to 32. There are 22 adult court programs and 10 juvenile programs. About 2,300 people are currently enrolled in drug court programs statewide.