WILLIAMSON — The Mingo County Probation Office graduated its fourth class from the Mingo County Drug Court Program on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Mingo County Circuit Court Room with four graduates completing the extensive recovery program: Jaquaylla Kessler, Christopher Chafin, Nick Lovich and Heather Musick. 

The Drug Court program, for previous drug offenders, requires a minimum of a year to finish, but it can take longer. It is broken up into three four-month phases.

Participants must appear before Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Miki Thompson on a weekly basis, undergo individual and group therapy sessions, as well as countless hours of community service with the Day Report Work Program.

They are also drug-screened at random three to four times a week, including weekends and holidays.

All four of the Drug Court Program graduates began working during their time in the program while some were able to regain custody of their children, obtain a GED or go back to college and work on their degree.

A large crowd was on hand for the graduation. and several people spoke words of encouragement and congratulations to the graduates, including Mingo County Chief Probation Officer Tonya Webb, Drug Court Probation Officer Shaun Haubrich, Judge Miki Thompson, WV State Drug Court Coordinator Nick Leftwich, Deputy Sheriff Joe Smith and Director of the Day Report Center Michelle Akers.

Michael J. Chirico, a representative from Congresswoman Carol Miller’s office, and Michael Browning from Sen. Joe Manchin’s office also attended and spoke.

The Drug Court Programs were implemented in all 55 West Virginia counties in 2016.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.