Noon Rotarians Hear About Mental Health Court

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Published on August 28 2013 6:18 pm
Last Updated on August 28 2013 6:22 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

What's to be known as Problem-Solving Courts were the focus of the August 28 meeting of the Effingham Noon Rotary Club.

Many are aware of Drug Court where offenders battling drug abuse have the opportunity to kick substance use rather than face prison time.  Two new programs are being brought to Effingham County Circuit Court; Mental Health Court and Veterans Court.  With Drug Court, they will be known as Problem-Solving Courts.

(4TH CIRCUIT CHIEF JUDGE GENE SCHWARM)

4th Circuit Chief Judge Gene Schwarm secured state grant funds to get the two new courts established and Associate Judge Ericka Sanders will administer the new courts, as she does for Drug Court.

(JUDGE ERICKA SANDERS)

Judges Schwarm and Sanders were the guest speakers at Rotary.  Schwarm discussed the "whats" and "whys" of the new courts, while Sanders discussed the "hows".  Effingham County Chief Probation Officer Cheryl Meyers and Probation Officer Dane Smith were also on hand to handle questions about the program.  Those individuals and others will help with the evaluation of candidates for the programs.

Mental Health Court and Veterans Court should be in place in Effingham County in October.

Greg Sapp served as Rotary weekly program chairman.

The Rotary weekly student guest was Makayla Walsh, the daughter of Tim and Jeannine Walsh and a senior at St. Anthony High School.

(FROM LEFT, EFFINGHAM COUNTY PROBATION OFFICER DANE SMITH, JUDGE ERICKA SANDERS, WEEKLY STUDENT GUEST MAKAYLA WALSH, ROTARY WEEKLY PROGRAM CHAIRMAN GREG SAPP, CHIEF CIRCUIT JUDGE GENE SCHWARM AND EFFINGHAM COUNTY CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER CHERYL MEYERS)