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Lee Celebrates 13th Judicial District Recovery Courts’ 10 Graduates

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Lee Celebrates 13th Judicial District Recovery Courts’ 10 Graduates

Governor Bill Lee addressed the 10 graduates of the 13th Judicial District Recovery Courts Monday night at the Putnam County Courthouse.

Lee said that the program was something that was near and dear to his heart. He said that when he became governor, he wanted to commit to providing pathways of opportunity to those who wanted them.

“It’s showing the country, frankly,” Lee said. “How it s that we can change the system to improve the lives, to improve generational issues, to provide transformation in families.”

Several other prominent figures from the community were present, including Senator Paul Bailey, Representative Ryan Williams, and District Public Defend Craig Fickling. Fickling said that the recovery court program has saved almost 4.7 million in taxpayer dollars from incarceration fees.

“We can turn people to our community who have already paid their debt to society for any misdeed that they have committed with the hard currency of incarceration,” Fickling said. “With the hope for the future. And we recognize tonight, one of the things we are recognizing tonight is that the best penal system is one that prevents people from coming back into it. And finally, we are honoring the courage of our graduates. They have taken a very hard and difficult path, and with the guidance of the recovery court, and with the other participants in the program they have healed their bodies and their spirits and turned their sorrow into joy.”

The 13th Judicial Recover Court encompasses Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White counties. There was one Veteran Treatment Court graduate, 8-year-U.S. combat veteran Robert Farris. He said that out of all the programs he has tried, the one by the 13th Judicial Court has been the one that stuck.

“None of them did the thing that this program has done for me,” Farris said. “And that this to show me how to live. They taught me the tools that I needed but they went a bit further. They slowly introduce you back into life and they’re there right on top of you to help you every way they can. And then as you go through the program you get more freedom and they’re still there to help you with your life. And I can say now the most important thing I lost, than any material thing, is relationships and I got those relationships back.”

The post Lee Celebrates 13th Judicial District Recovery Courts’ 10 Graduates appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.