Questions remain about drug court



By JB Clark

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County Justice Court Judge Rickey Thompson canceled a Wednesday press conference in which he was going to address the court’s recertification woes.

No reason was given for the cancellation, which was given on short notice.

The conference had been called to address a letter from the Mississippi Administrative Office Of Courts telling Thompson that Lee County’s misdemeanor drug court’s certification expired in March.

The letter ordered Thompson, under Mississippi Code Ann. § 9-23-11(1)(a), to cease drug court operations until he has completed the recertification process.

Lee County prosecutor James Moore said he is recommending the judge sign an order dismissing charges and expunging the records of all participates who have paid their fines since they can’t complete the rest of their court-ordered requirements in the absence of a certified drug court.

The court went through the certification process prior to receiving certification March 5, 2010, and the certification was valid for three years.

Joey Craft, state drug court coordinator, said the certification is a case-by-case process but couldn’t recall a case when recertification was denied.

He also said, until the court’s certification is rectified, decisions made by the court since March must be worked out with the county prosecutor.

Click video to hear audio

  • DoubleTalk

    Sounds like typical government red tape creating someone a government job. It would be interesting to know what one has to do or the criteria to meet to get re-certified.

    I’m not real sure of the success of the drug court versus expense in operating it. Guess someone will put that information out.

  • Kevin

    The drug court system exists so as to funnel countless drug-related cases out of the ordinary justice court system. Instead of admitting defeat, bureaucrats simply created some other court system to handle the multitudes of those arrested under our draconian drug statutes. This is one reason why the drug war will continue–because it creates and proliferates bureaucracy to the point that it will be difficult to get rid of the layers of bureaucracy. Therefore, the drug war will continue to perpetuate people’s jobs in society–those jobs in which people are employed, administering the drug war.

  • barney fife

    Reform our marijuana laws and drug courts might go away.
    It is long past time to stop making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding, tax-paying & voting members of society merely because of their choice in an adult recreational intoxicant.

  • tupeloboyz

    Judge Thompson has tried to rehabilitate people in this community through the drug court. He has helped a lot of people and has run a successful program. Now he has incurred the wrath of the other (white) justice court judges and the (white) prosecutor.

    This is a racial issue – no doubt. Prosecutor Moore and the other judges don’t want to see a black man like Judge Thompson succeed, even if it helps the community. They also like making poor black folks that have been smoking a little weed into criminals for life. They suspend their drivers license on the weed charges, so they can’t go to work, support their families and pay their fines. They also become felons so that they can’t vote or own a gun.

    What we need in Lee County is three new justice court judges and a new county prosecutor.

    Judge Thompson, I suggest a lawsuit to get to the bottom of this conspiracy against you – the truth will be ugly for some of your enemies.