LUMBERTON — As Friday dawned, three males started the solo journey alongside the trail of sobriety.
The trek started after Robeson County Superior Courtroom Choose Greg Bell adjourned Courtroom 2A, bringing to an finish the inaugural DWI Therapy Courtroom Restoration Celebration on Thursday.
The three males have been the primary to finish Robeson County DWI Therapy Courtroom, and formally graduated from this system throughout a Thursday celebration. One man needed to return to work, and was not current throughout the ceremony to obtain his certificates.
The primary session of DWI court docket was held Jan. 9. The remedy court docket targets individuals who have been charged with DWI for a fourth time, which is a felony offense, and provides 12 to 18 months of remedy, with suppliers like Robeson Well being Care Company. Individuals who full this system can keep away from the felony DWI cost and jail sentence, after serving 120 days in jail.
“It’s due to you all I’m right here right now and I ain’t in jail,” Jimmy Lowery mentioned throughout the Restoration Celebration.
Lowery thanked the remedy staff, made up of parole officers, RHCC staffers and others.
“If it wouldn’t have been for this program, I might’ve misplaced all of it,” he informed The Robesonian earlier than the ceremony.
Lowery was sentenced to a few years in jail. However, due to this system, he can spend that point along with his household, which incorporates six grandchildren, as a brand new man persevering with alongside his path of sobriety.
His subsequent steps have been to “keep clear, hold a constructive angle and hold urgent ahead,” Lowery mentioned.
This system was championed by Robeson County District Legal professional Matt Scott, who along with his staff, RHCC, The College of North Carolina at Pembroke and the N.C. Governor’s Freeway Security Program helped prolong a serving to hand and hope to folks affected by alcohol dependancy.
“You’re sitting in a courtroom that’s had quite a few horrors be informed,” Scott mentioned to folks attending Thursday’s occasion.
“Plenty of heartache has been informed on this courtroom,” he mentioned. “However, I’m proud to say right now, we are able to see the alternative of that. As a substitute of lives being destroyed, we are able to see lives being constructed.”
Scott mentioned so long as he was the Robeson County’s district lawyer, he would combat for justice and holding offenders to the regulation. However the district lawyer additionally mentioned he would proceed to combat for a judicial system that brings hope and therapeutic by the DWI Therapy Courtroom.
Lowery spoke with Scott throughout the ceremony, saying he owed him for the assistance this system has given him.
“When you hadn’t have began this, the place would I be?” Lowery mentioned.
Choose Bell, who presides over the remedy court docket, additionally shared a couple of phrases.
“This time final yr, I believed this was going to flop,” Bell mentioned.
Bell mentioned he was positive the 12 individuals that started would find yourself again on probation or in jail.
“That’s not what any of us needed,” he mentioned.
And the COVID-19 pandemic added challenges for individuals in this system, the choose mentioned.
However, Bell referred to as the graduates “three courageous souls” who soldiered by every impediment within the combat to attain sobriety. It’s due to their efforts the court docket noticed success, he mentioned.
Amongst attendees cheering the boys on have been Robeson County Clerk of Superior Courtroom Shelena Smith; Dr. Robin Peace, president of UNC Well being Southeastern’s medical employees; Lumberton Metropolis Councilman Owen Thomas; Superior Courtroom Choose Tiffany Peguise-Powers; and District Courtroom Choose Brooke Clark.
Tina Locklear shared phrases of encouragement with this system individuals, recalling her battle with drug and alcohol dependancy and her restoration date on Oct. 31, 2013, after being issued a court docket sentence.
Locklear mentioned she had totaled 17 autos in all, and has to hold by life a rap sheet that’s three pages lengthy.
“It’s a part of my previous, nevertheless it doesn’t outline who I’m right now,” Locklear mentioned.
After spending time in jail and a remedy heart, she was on her solution to restoration.
Locklear is now a licensed scientific social employee who has a grasp’s diploma in Social Work, with a specialization in substance abuse and dependancy counseling, from The College of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Locklear now works with people who find themselves combating dependancy within the Wilmington space, the place she lives. She plans to maneuver again to Robeson County quickly to assist county residents battling with dependancy, Locklear mentioned.
“Select you. You’re price it. You’re so price it,” she mentioned.
Dr. Robin Peace, president of UNC Well being Southeastern’s medical employees, informed program graduates they want a great help system, a constructive outlook and a great physician to assist them as they proceed their path of restoration.
Choose Clark donned a T-shirt with the phrases “restoration is feasible,” like those worn by the members of the remedy staff in attendance.
She has presided over Household Therapy Courtroom and seen the proof of the life-changing remedy applications, Clark mentioned. However after the applications finish, individuals should proceed the journey.
“It’s not the tip of one thing, it’s only the start,” Clark mentioned.