Caresse Jackman

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Video: Drug Courts Across Mississippi In Jeopardy

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CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- One year ago, Gavis Mosley was a completely different person.

“My drug of choice was cocaine and through my journey and using drugs I had lost a lot of relationships, personal relationships, relationships with my children. It was a struggle just to maintain life and to be able to live and be productive,” said Mosley.

Her children refused to speak to her. She eventually spent time in jail, but it was during her time there that she participated in drug court and turned her life around.

“Through drug court, it gave me a structure. It gave me an opportunity for advancement. It gave me a new chance at life,” said Mosley.

Since then, her relationship with her children has blossomed.

“They still call me mommy dearest, but for a different reasons now. I’m more dear to them now and more like a parent who is there all the time. I couldn’t provide those for them whereas now I”m a productive parent,” said Mosley.

Now, drug courts across the State could face steep budget cuts. The drug court advisory committee voted last week to cut overall funding by 42 % beginning July 1st.

“They took all the money from the misdemeanor drug courts and they made small budget cuts in other areas. So the felony court will continue to be funded, but the misdemeanor courts are completely out of funding from the State now,” said Clay County Drug Court Counselor Cindy Tidwell.

Tidwell believes slashing courts will harm thousands of lives looking for a way out.

“Without funding from the State or outside sources, a lot of people would just go back to where they were without the therapy. We see husbands and wives literally crying when they come in and say we don’t know what else to do. And then when they leave, they’re saying it saved our family. That’s just a huge testament to what drug court does,” said Tidwell.

A testament Gavis hopes lawmakers will remember before the cuts take place.

“Without drug court, I don’t know if I would have made it. I would say to save lives, continue drug court,” said Mosley.

The drug court system now cost $7.6 million a year to run. Bills to provide more money died during this year’s regular session.