COVINGTON, Ga. - Alcovy Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Samuel D. Ozburn and Newton County Resource Court staff hosted a dinner and speaking event last Tuesday evening in order to recognize and celebrate Newton County organizations and individuals who have contributed support for the ongoing operation of the mental health accountability court program.
Current court participants spoke to the audience about their personal progress and successes. Eastridge Community Church provided the meeting space, and the Covington Police Department Police Who Care Fund provided dinner for the guests.
The Alcovy Circuit Mental Health (Resource) Accountability Court receives operating funds through Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as well as local matching contributions from Newton County, for the purposes of reducing the number of individuals with mental illness in the jail system, connecting those individuals to treatment, supervising their return to the community, and breaking the cycle of recidivism, thereby reducing crime and reducing costs to local counties.
In addition to funding support, the Resource Court receives generous supports from local organizations and community members who are invested in advancing local criminal justice reform. These supports include housing, transportation assistance, donations of material goods, funding donations, peer support, and vocal advocates who work to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
At Tuesday’s event, Ozburn and Resource Court staff recognized and thanked these community supporters with food and fellowship; the keynote speakers included two current court participants who described how the program has positively impacted their lives and given them new opportunities to succeed. Partners from local law enforcement, charitable organizations, recovery groups, the Newton County Board of Commissioners, the Covington City Council, local nonprofit organizations, Piedmont Newton Hospital and private mental health treatment providers were in attendance.