The Cobb County Drug Court resumed operation in January 1995 under Judge Vic Reynolds. The court serves as the forum for all drug cases made by the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna (MCS) drug squad. This specialized law enforcement unit makes about 85% of the drug offenses moving through the county's court system.
The original mission of the court was to clear up the many drug cases that were in Superior Court. Because of the number of felony cases pending in court, drug cases were often placed on the back burner in order to dispose of more violent crimes. In two years of operation, the court had disposed of nearly 1200 drug cases, allowing more serious violent crimes to be heard quicker in other courts.
In addition to moving cases through the system, this version of Drug Court has been somewhat different. Every defendant that is sentenced in Drug Court is ordered to undergo a mandatory evaluation within 30 days of sentencing. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether or not the individual defendant has a substance abuse problem which warrants treatment. The defendant can undergo the evaluation at a number of private providers in and around Cobb County or can choose to be evaluated by a substance abuse counselor at Cobb Community Services Board. The latter evaluation costs $45.00 and is given on almost a daily basis.
Once the evaluation is complete the defendant's probation officer is given a copy and the result is reviewed with the defendant. If the evaluation indicates the defendant has a substance abuse problem, a treatment program suited for the defendant's needs is outlined. The recommended program is reviewed with the defendant and he must then begin treatment.
By requiring strict compliance with all conditions and by holding defendants accountable for their actions, we have managed to cut down repeat offenders. The Cobb County Drug Court has proven to be a viable, successful operation which disposes of drug cases in a rapid and efficient manner while holding defendants accountable for their actions.