Drug Court Graduation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - There was a graduation of a different kind at the Madison County courthouse Monday. It allowed those with drug charges a chance to turn their lives around.

The 16 graduates have come a long way, trading in drugs for a diploma after a year-long drug court program.

Participants consent to random drug testing during the program and were required to seek treatment from approved treatment providers.

By going through this program, these non-violent offenders avoided serving an average sentence of up to five-years in prison.

Claude Hundley, a district judge in Madison County, says, “One of the things we find is most criminal activity has a drug component. So if we are able to remove the drug component and thereby remove the criminal activity, then we've achieved the purpose we were looking to achieve.”

According to Judge Hundley, it costs about $17,285 to incarcerate one inmate per year. Adult drug court has saved tax payers approximately $259,275 per year.