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Raleigh County Launches Drug Court

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Raleigh County has launched a new drug court in order to help addicts turn their lives around.

Officials on Friday held an opening ceremony for the Raleigh County Adult Drug Court.

Judge Robert A. Burnside says an increase in both violent and nonviolent crimes in the Beckley area can be traced back to drug addiction.

West Virginia Division of Probation Services Director Michael B. Lacy says drug abuse has become a scourge that cannot be ignored.

Rather than just sending someone to jail, drug courts strive to reduce substance abuse and improve rehabilitation through treatment, periodic drug testing and community supervision.

Raleigh County's prosecuting attorney, Kristen Keller, says the program is hard work and isn't for everyone, including violent criminals and repeat offenders.

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