Ex-sheriff to head up district's drug court

OXFORD – Former Tippah County Sheriff Brandon Vance will succeed Chuck Jenkins as administrator of the 3rd Judicial District’s new drug court.
Jenkins, who came out of retirement after a career in law enforcement to help start the court, had said he would retire again as of July 31.
The court serves Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties.
Vance, now a resident of Oxford, was nominated to the position by Circuit Judge Andy Howorth, who oversees the drug court.
“He is a greatly respected lawman and an asset to every community in which he has lived,” Howorth said. “We are quite fortunate to have been able to make such a quality hire.”
Vance’s appointment was approved by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors.
“If Judge Howorth is happy with him, then I’m happy with him,” Board President Lloyd Oliphant said.
The court, located in Oxford, gives some offenders with non-violent, drug-related felonies a chance to avoid prison by undergoing close supervision for at least three years, with requirements for employment, drug testing and avoiding further violations.
In some cases, first offenders can have their records expunged upon completion of the program.
The drug court began taking applications from defendants more than a year ago and began operations in January. It supervises nearly 100 people, but Howorth has estimated it can handle as many as 250.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal