LUMBERTON — As Friday dawned, three males started the solo journey alongside the trail of sobriety.
The trek started after Robeson County Superior Court docket Choose Greg Bell adjourned Courtroom 2A, bringing to an finish the inaugural DWI Therapy Court docket Restoration Celebration on Thursday.
The three males had been the primary to finish Robeson County DWI Therapy Court docket, and formally graduated from this system throughout a Thursday celebration. One man needed to return to work, and was not current through the ceremony to obtain his certificates.
The primary session of DWI courtroom was held Jan. 9. The therapy courtroom targets individuals who have been charged with DWI for a fourth time, which is a felony offense, and affords 12 to 18 months of therapy, with suppliers like Robeson Well being Care Company. Contributors 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 in the present day and I ain’t in jail,” Jimmy Lowery stated through the Restoration Celebration.
Lowery thanked the therapy 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 together with his household, which incorporates six grandchildren, as a brand new man persevering with alongside his path of sobriety.
His subsequent steps had been to “keep clear, preserve a constructive angle and preserve urgent ahead,” Lowery stated.
This system was championed by Robeson County District Legal professional Matt Scott, who together 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 stated to folks attending Thursday’s occasion.
“Loads of heartache has been informed on this courtroom,” he stated. “However, I’m proud to say in the present day, we are able to see the other of that. As a substitute of lives being destroyed, we are able to see lives being constructed.”
Scott stated so long as he was the Robeson County’s district legal professional, he would struggle for justice and holding offenders to the regulation. However the district legal professional additionally stated he would proceed to struggle for a judicial system that brings hope and therapeutic via the DWI Therapy Court docket.
Lowery spoke with Scott through the ceremony, saying he owed him for the assistance this system has given him.
“In case you hadn’t have began this, the place would I be?” Lowery stated.
Choose Bell, who presides over the therapy courtroom, additionally shared a couple of phrases.
“This time final yr, I believed this was going to flop,” Bell stated.
Bell stated he was certain the 12 individuals that started would find yourself again on probation or in jail.
“That’s not what any of us needed,” he stated.
And the COVID-19 pandemic added challenges for individuals in this system, the choose stated.
However, Bell referred to as the graduates “three courageous souls” who soldiered via every impediment within the struggle to realize sobriety. It’s due to their efforts the courtroom noticed success, he stated.
Amongst attendees cheering the lads on had been Robeson County Clerk of Superior Court docket Shelena Smith; Dr. Robin Peace, president of UNC Well being Southeastern’s medical workers; Lumberton Metropolis Councilman Owen Thomas; Superior Court docket Choose Tiffany Peguise-Powers; and District Court docket 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 courtroom sentence.
Locklear stated she had totaled 17 autos in all, and has to hold via life a rap sheet that’s three pages lengthy.
“It’s a part of my previous, however it doesn’t outline who I’m in the present day,” Locklear stated.
After spending time in jail and a therapy heart, she was on her option 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 battling 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 stated.
“Select you. You might be price it. You might be so price it,” she stated.
Dr. Robin Peace, president of UNC Well being Southeastern’s medical workers, informed program graduates they want a superb help system, a constructive outlook and a superb 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 therapy staff in attendance.
She has presided over Household Therapy Court docket and seen the proof of the life-changing therapy packages, Clark stated. However after the packages finish, individuals should proceed the journey.
“It’s not the tip of one thing, it’s just the start,” Clark stated.
Attain Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or by way of e mail at [email protected]