Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman of Nashville’s Davidson County Drug Court preaches the truth to his lost flock every week, evangelizing with a style that recalls a little of the Old Testament and a little of the New: Do right and you will be praised. Do wrong and he'll let you know, The Tennessean reports. “If you think I believe you, you'd better go jump over the moon because I don't believe a word you're saying,” he chides one young woman. “Not one word.”
His flock, 200 people squeezed into a gymnasium every Tuesday evening, are current and recovering drug addicts. When he demands the truth, it's no idle threat. “You get straight with some people around here, you might not wind up in jail,” he continues. “You don't and you're going to go back because I'm not going to put up with it.” About 95 percent of the court's $1.5 million budget is funded by the state. An additional $70,000 in federal grant money is passed on to the court from Nashville Metro police. The program is widely hailed, boasting a success rate of more than 60 percent. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, even heroin users typically take a little more than a year to complete the program.