A Question For georgia Dopers-Drug Courts

I just caught part of this radio show on NPR (All Things Considered).
Sorry, I cannot seem to locate the broadcast on the NPR Website.
In any event, it concerns a female judge in Georgia-who runs a “drug court”. This (ostensibly) is a more humane, low cost alternative to0 the criminal courts, in ajudicating drug charges.
It was hoffifying: they city the case of a young woman (no prior record) who was stopped by the police (she was a passenger in a car driven by a man who was suspected of drunk driving). She allowed the police to search her purse-they found two darvon capsules (given her by her mother). She was arrested, and held for 8 dasys-after which she appeared before this female judge (sorry don’t remember the name). She wound up in a “treatment program” for 33 months!
The reports on the judge are troubling-her court handles more pleadings than the City of Atlanta!
I got the impression that someone is making a LOT of money off this-most likely the firm doing the drug treatment.
Is this so? Arte there good reasons to doubt thisa judge’s honesty?

You should really listen to the whole podcast. There was a lot more to it, including that the judge’s husband has had his own substance problems. The podcastwill be available for one week starting at 7pm Sunday.

I am listening to this now on This American Life. I am also rather taken aback.

Does anyone know how Indefinite Imprisonment works? Wikipedia says that it can’t be longer than the maximum punishment for the offense. If a person is left indefinitely in prison for the maximum length, are they considered to have completed their time? Or does it only count within the Drug Court program?

She seems to run several of her schemes with her attorney son Nathan Williams.

She also pays for his law office, so I guess she’s pretty incentivized to maximize revenue’s.

It’s amazing, but it seems that almost everyone in Glynn County, and most of Georgia is afraid to say anything negative about her for fear of reprisal. Nice court system they’ve got going on down there, but she did get re-elected!

Just to clarify, the subject of this discussion is Chief Judge Amanda F. Williams of the Glynn County (Georgia) Superior Court, in Brunswick, Georgia.

The public radio program This American Life did a full hour program on Williams’s administration of the “drug court,” which is characterized by extremely harsh sentences and practices that violate all kinds of standards of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Drug courts were originally set up to help serious addicts recover from their addictions as an alternative to serial punishment by the judicial system. Williams seems to be doing exactly the opposite, subjecting people (some of whom have no problems with addiction at all) to egregiously punitive sentences and denying them access to the counseling and medications that they might need to recover.

One of the shocking cases highlighted in the radio program was that of “Brandy,” mentioned by the OP. She was a passenger in a car stopped for drunken driving. The cops found two prescription pills in an Altoids tin in her purse and charged her with two felony counts of controlled drug possession. She had no history of legal problems or serious drug use, the pills belonged to her mother, and she had never taken them. One of the legal experts interviewed on the show said that in any other court, this charge would have been dismissed with an affidavit from her mother.

Anything goes in Georgia, so long as it’s poor people w/o access to resources who are being disenfranchised. Not much different from a lot of states in that respect, just here in GA it’s not something they’re particularly ashamed of. Not a hundred years ago when someone needed a job done but didn’t want to pay much for it they got hold of the sheriff who arrested enough people to do that job. Then the sheriff got their cut, the job got done cheaply and there was nary a soul brave enough to put up a legal fight. Even when you fight back there’s retaliation on an exponentially worse scale than your little victory.

As one of my professors put it, the pervasive feeling from those who exploit others is, “They’re not like me, they’re less than me and I can do as I want w/ them.” I don’t think that will ever change in GA, there’s no impetus for the change.

Really shocking and scarey too-I had no idea that Georgia was so corrupt.
WE have a similar situation in Massachusetts-the department of probation.
Basically, if you are arrested and sentenced to probation, you have to report to a probation officer, who may tell you to attend a “drug awareness course”-or something else. The problem is, the State DOP was recently revealed to be run by a corrupt hack (John O’Brien) who sold jobs in the department to “contributors”-one probabtion officer was found to have a criminal record (including several felonies!). Many of the probation officers could never be found-they were working second jobs.
The evil thing was-you cold be arrested for failing to report to your probation officer-even if he was nowhere to be found!

Good god. Thank you for this. I’m appalled and disheartened that this shit is actually happening and so many people seem to be complacent about it. How is this possible in this day and age? I don’t understand.

I simply do not understand.

Don’t have anything to say about this particular issue, but I gotta tell you, I love the thread title.

Since there doesn’t seem to be much of a substantive question in the OP, this is probably better suited to IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

I’m listening to this now and am totally shocked.

The last thing that should happen to an addict is for them to be put in jail. In my opinion, that is like taking someone with cancer and putting them in jail to cure them.

That story is just so sad and makes me wish I could do something about it.