Louisville Drug Court Reunites Some Families


Eight months ago, Debra Smith walked into Louisville Judge Eleanore Garber’s courtroom an angry woman losing custody of her children because of her addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol. Yesterday, Smith, 44, walked into that same courtroom in Jefferson County Family Court – ready to start anew, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

She’s been clean and sober for months and she regained custody of her children last week, Yesterday she married Walter Mitchell, the man she’s been with for nearly a decade and the father of her younger daughter.

Family Drug Court began about two years ago as an effort to take women who were losing custody of their children because of drug abuse and get them treatment that could reunite them with their families.

The voluntary program includes three phases of treatment that combine in-patient care, counseling, and regular meetings with the judge. Debra Mitchell now enters the third phase, which allows her to move back with her family and meet monthly with the judge. She is the fifth mother among 25 in the program to get her children back.

The Mitchells met about 10 years ago – when both were addicted to crack. Over the years, both tried to end their abuse. Yesterday’s wedding, the first for Family Drug Court, was the Christmas present that the Mitchells had waited for.

Link: http://www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2003/12/24ky/met-front-drug12240-6632.html

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