Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

May 18, 2013

Drug Court gives grads second chance at life

Greg Evans has been arrested more times than he can remember, spent time in jail, and been a drug user for 25 years of his life.

At the Effingham Area Drug Court Graduation Friday, he hoped to put all that behind him.

“The only hope we have is here today in this court and with these people,” Evans said during the ceremony. “We need more of this. it’s the only way things work.”

Evans is one of three 2013 graduates of the Drug Court program. The other two are Jeff Gill and Faith Leas. All three opted out of a prison sentence in favor of the program, which is intended to keep non-violent offenders out of jail and help them stay sober, as well as leave behind the lifestyle that can go hand-in-hand with drug abuse. After six years and 30 graduates, the program seems to be working.

“Their transformation over the last few years isn’t something we normally see in the criminal justice system,” said Judge Ericka Sanders. “Except in Drug Court.”

Along with requiring program members to attend support groups and therapy, Drug Court participants are subjected to one, and possibly up to four, random drug tests a week, required to pay the costs of their prior criminal cases, obtain a GED if they do not already have one, and attend drug court between one and four times a month. Sanders said those restrictions have led many people who have been offered a place in the program to instead choose jail time.

The guest speaker for the event, Brianee Martin, is a past graduate of the program who started drinking and smoking marijuana when she was 13 and progressed to muscle relaxers and narcotics before graduating high school. She said the program is the only thing that has allowed her to attend college and become a mother.

Text Only
Local News
  • 2 in court on meth charges Jackson Adams Daily News Two individuals arrested on methamphetamine charges in Shumway appeared in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday. Tara L. Devoe, 18, of Shumway and Nathaniel S. Sparks, 23, of Beecher City both appeared with counsel before a

    April 16, 2014

  • Effingham eager to attract Pinnacle TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Pinnacle Foods is considering an expansion its operation into the former Fedders building. The project will bring up to 25 full-time jobs to the area. The City of Effingham is looking to make that expansion more appetizing wit

    April 16, 2014

  • Dieterich school meals to cost more Jackson Adams Daily News DIETERICH -- Parents can expect to see some higher costs at Dieterich schools in the next school year. Dieterich Superintendent Carrie Jackson said one of the more notable changes in fees will be noticeable in school breakfas

    April 16, 2014

  • Cathy-beach closed.jpg Beach conditions worry EWA

    Effingham Water Authority is putting the operator of Lake Sara beach on notice after health code violations have kept the beach closed for the past couple of years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Soybeans favored over corn

    The United States Department of Agriculture is projecting that farmers nationwide will plant more acres of soybeans this year than ever before.

    April 15, 2014

  • Water service to be interrupted for some Effingham residents Tuesday

    Water service will be interrupted along the following streets, starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday to repair and replace water main valves.

    April 14, 2014

  • Grant to make Dieterich sidewalks more accessible

    A Dieterich pedestrian accessibility project will receive $800,000 as part of transportation grants being given throughout the state.

    April 13, 2014

  • Farming accident claims life

    A Mulberry Grove man was killed instantly Saturday when a tractor he was driving flipped over on him while working on his property.

    April 13, 2014

  • Hodge.jpg Drug enforcement focus of new ISP commander

    Illinois State Police  Zone 7 Investigations Interim Commander Kelly Hodge will now head two districts as commander of Effingham-based District 12 and Carmi-based 19.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nicole Dominique.jpeg Opinion: A pointed lesson

    Kids, gather around. I want to tell you a story about why you’re not being careful enough with knives.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.