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Drug Court Approved For Alleghany County, Covington
Commonwealth Attorney Gardner Praises The Move As A Primary Objective Of Her Appointment

Covington, VA (May 15, 2020) - The Virginia Supreme Court has approved creation of the first-ever drug treatment court in Alleghany County/City of Covington. A Drug Court Executive Committee meeting was held via WebEx on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. to review the approval for Alleghany County/City of Covington, Wythe County, and Suffolk. Representatives from each team were invited to participate in the meeting. The Drug Court Executive Committee indicated that they were happy to approve the requests as they recognized there was a need in our rural community.

“We know that this was something that the community has wanted for a long time, and we are very excited about the positive impact this will bring to our area,” stated Ingrid Barber, Executive Director of Alleghany Highlands Community Services.

A drug court is an alternative to traditional court proceedings in that it involves a collaborative and cooperative multi-disciplinary team to include judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement and behavioral health treatment professionals. Drug Court utilizes a special court docket for dealing with non-violent criminal offenses committed by drug-addicted offenders. It combines the power of intensive judicial supervision with comprehensive substance abuse treatment and case management to assist offenders in achieving recovery. Only the court has the power to issue immediate sanctions to offenders when relapse or noncompliance occurs.

“The establishment of a drug court has been a primary objective of our office since my appointment. It would not have been possible without the support of our resident judge, Judge Edward K. Stein and the hard work of CSB through Ingrid Barber,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Gardner.

The team works together to reduce crime and increase a defendant’s sobriety. This is done through intensive counseling and monitoring, treatment, job training and long-term after care. Various steps remain before a drug court actually opens in Alleghany County/City of Covington, potentially launching in fall of 2020.

Key members involved in the application process included Ingrid Barber, Executive Director of Alleghany Highlands Community Services, Ann Gardner, Commonwealth Attorney, Abby Fedor, Deputy Chief for Virginia Department of Corrections, and Ed Stein, Circuit Court Judge of the 25th district.

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