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Drug Court Graduates First Participant

By Staff | Oct 8, 2014

The Honorable Judge David W. Hummel presides over the first Wetzel County Drug Court graduation.

It was a triumphant day for the war against drugs Friday, as the Wetzel County Drug Court program saw its first graduation.

“It’s a good day,” Judge David W. Hummel stated to those assembled in the courtroom. “It doesn’t seem that long ago I sentenced you,” he told the graduate, who chose to remain anonymous in terms of the press. “It’s been a year,” Judge Hummel stated. “Time flies.”

“There are some that are not with us,” he stated. “There are some wearing orange jumpsuits.” Of the graduate he stated, “He could’ve been one of those, but he’s not.”

Friends and family attending the graduation noted that the drug court client was an even better person than what he used to be. They stated that they did trust him, that it had been difficult, but the person had gained back their trust.”

To his fellow drug court program attendees, the graduate had the following advice: “Stay straight and keep positive.”

Hummel noted that the graduate was not cured of addiction and that he might always struggle. “Just because he graduates does not mean he is done. It doesn’t mean we are done either. There does not have to be charges for this person to come back in for help. Our doors are open. It’s free. If he has a problem, he can come back, no questions asked.”

“He’s shined himself up, but he is not at the end. We are not going to pull services. His graduation is a ceremony. It’s nothing more. He goes on to his next steps, and we go to help him along the way. It’s transitioning. This program gives a lot of structure and sometimes those who lack structure later on simply fall out, into old habits, and you can monitor that too. The toughest thing for this person is changing friends-those who got him into this, the people and places and things.”

Jennifer Call, drug court coordinator, noted that the graduate had been a stellar client, who was “always compliant.”

“You have done everything you are supposed to do, and this is truly an accomplishment,” she stated. “I’m sad to see you go. You are a leader, and I’m hoping somebody else will step up and do your job.”

“We have jail and prison,” Judge Hummel noted to the graduate, adding, “neither of which would have served your needs . . . Mr. Prosecuting Attorney (Timothy Haught) worked hard with the county commission and was able to receive a great deal of financing to get the ball rolling. He continues to use us and trust us, and you have delivered for us, a success. Hopefully that will beget other success. Hopefully that will encourage him to entrust us to do what we do and have more successes.”

“I want to thank the court and everyone that works at drug court for what you’ve done,” Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated. “This truly is a happy day for me personally, because it’s one of the most difficult things for me to do, is to argue to send this person to prison, knowing they aren’t going to get the help they need there. And when they get out, they are very likely to do the same things that put them in there in the first place. I’m very grateful for this program. I want to thank Judge Hummel. I really think the program has been successful because of your honor’s commitment to it. A lot of people have worked together to get to this point, and we have invested in seeing people succeed. I’m just very happy.”

Haught stated that the graduate was lucky to have people who supported them. “I want to see you continue to succeed. I don’t want to see you make any mistakes. I appreciate the hard work everyone has done to get you where you are at. If you hadn’t made that commitment, you wouldn’t be standing there.”

When asked if he/she had anything to say, the graduate noted, “Thanks for the support. Thanks for the program. It’s a wonderful program.”