It’s the first of it’s kind of in the Mountain State and could save tax payers more than a million dollars every year. More importantly, it could save hundreds of lives. The first federal drug court in West Virginia opened Friday in Wheeling.
A special ceremony was held in the courtroom at the Federal Building in Wheeling featuring a who’s who in the criminal justice system of West Virginia and actress Melissa Fitzgerald.
The most powerful speaker though was Linda Bish, a graduate of Hancock County Drug Court, who spoke about how going through it has changed her and her family’s lives forever.
“I myself have been put back on a level playing field,” said Bish. “My disease is under arrest and I’m a normal person because I do the things necessary to keep my disease under arrest and it was through the guidance and direction of the drug court that provided me the treatment that I needed.”
The Honorable John Preston Bailey will preside of the Federal Drug Court. Bailey says he’s watched the county drug courts with Judge Sims and Judge Gaughan and will try to follow their good examples.
Judge Bailey says the application form for federal drug court is already up online and they’ll slowly start the process of selecting their first class.