Butler County's Drug Treatment Court held its 20th graduation ceremony since the specialty court was created in 2011, with three men becoming the 26th, 27th and 28th graduates on Thursday.
Garrett Barnes, one of the graduates, said from the very beginning he didn't believe he could complete the program, but stuck it out to become one of the success stories.
He said he was in and out of jail “constantly” and never got the opportunity for treatment, until he sought out the program.
“As soon as I got in it, I saw the high levels of accountability,” he said. “Before this, I was doing the same stuff expecting different results. Being told no, that structure molded me into the person I am today.”
Adam Kummer, Drug Treatment Court coordinator and Butler County probation officer, said the graduation ceremonies are always “very humbling” because of the amount of work each participant puts into the program.
Judge William Shaffer presides over the drug treatment court, and the ceremony was held in his courtroom.
Along with Shaffer, the drug court team is composed of representatives from the district attorney's and public defender's offices, county Drug and Alcohol, a probation officer and a human services case manager from the Center for Community Resources.
A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.