Boone County Drug Court Graduation

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Columbia - Family and friends came out to the Boone County courthouse to support the eleven graduates of the drug court program.

The graduation marks the completion of an intensive program of comprehensive drug court treatment, close supervision, and full accountability. 

The program also serves as an alternative to incarceration.

This is Boone County drug court's third year as a National Mentor Court. 

One of the supervisors of drug court Judge Christine Carpenter said being a supervisor can be very overwhelming but the end result is always worth it.

"There were many years that I would come home from drug court and be burnt out, I guess I have gotten better at that but it can be tough," said Carpenter.

"They can be the worst days but they are also the best days," said Carpenter.

She said she is very proud of all the graduates. 

One of the students of the drug court Ryan Coffee said it was difficult getting through the program, but the relationships he built within the program made him a better person.

"It was very very overwhelming," said Ryan Coffee.

"They throw you right in. You have to meet with your parole officer, go to AA meetings and just stay on top of things. You just have to relax I guess. Thats what I did. I relaxed and took it one day at a time and now look at me, I'm still here," said Coffee.

Another graduate Trevor Robinson said he would not have gotten this opportunity anywhere else.

"For me it was a huge huge opportunity. In a lot of other places I would not have been able to get an opportunity like this specifically in maybe a Bible belt area or somewhere where they do not have these kind of resources I probably would have faced a hefty incarceration," said Robinson.

"Of course there were bad times, but today, I got some of my freedom back," said Robinson.

Other participants say graduation is just the first step in the right direction.