The Judge described the various accountability courts: (mental health, drug, DUI) but primarily focused on his dozen or so people involved in the Veterans Court, privately every Tuesday afternoon in the Clarke County Superior Court.
Mentors and other advocates are sought, but need to sign a confidentiality agreement to attend these sessions, according to Judge Haggard.
There are 5 phases of duration during the Veterans Court after an initial assessment, and so far no one has graduated from the area court, but many success stories and employment have emerged, as well as a lowering of the return trips to prison. Jobs are part of the equation for most.
Judge Haggard answered questions from the audience about a range of issues from marijuana legalization to mental health and dementia. He was as candid as can be, but let it be known where he cannot answer questions as well.
The Clarke County Area Democratic Committee is a large and diverse group with members from Oconee County as well who have met at Brett's Casual American restaurant in the recent past, but enjoyed their first meeting upstairs at Kumquat Mae.
I sat with Lowell Howard, an interesting gentleman from Vermont by way of Indiana, who worked at IBM.