The Augusta Judicial Circuit Drug Court (AJCDC) will serve Richmond, Columbia, and Burke Counties. The Honorable James G. Blanchard, Jr. was selected to preside over the design and implementation of the AJCDC program which first operated in this circuit in August, 2008. The coordinator is Ted Wiggins, a 21-year native of Augusta and USA Army retiree with 18 years experience as a Felony Probation Officer for the State of Georgia.
The AJCDC is a community partnership among the Judiciary, District Attorney's Office, Law Enforcement, Probation, Drug Court Office, Treatment Providers, and Defense Attorneys. The Drug Court program provides a substance abuse treatment plan and serves as a meaningful alternative to incarceration for the participant who can function in the community with support. It is our goal to improve the quality of life and reduce recidivism for the participants in this program. Those who graduate will have a solid foundation upon which to build in order to become productive members of our community.
Program duration is 24 months (post-plea, pre-adjudication) and consists of five phases. It encompasses vocational, educational, and spiritual components in conjunction with providing substance abuse treatment. Eligible participants are addicts, not recreational users, who are charged with possession of prohibited substances or illegal possession of controlled substances, as well as individuals committing crimes to support their drug addiction.
Disqualifying offenses include trafficking, violent felonies, and alcohol-only cases. Also, sex offenders and those with significant mental health needs are excluded. Please refer to our participant handbook for detailed information. Anyone interested in participating in this program must go through an application and screening process.
Successful completion of the treatment plan will help participants move forward to a healthy, positive lifestyle with learned coping skills as well as job skills during treatment for a productive future. Incentives for successful completion of the program include dismissal of charges, modification of probation, or retention of first offender status.
Sanctions imposed for violating program requirements range from community service or jail time to termination from the program. Termination will result in reinstatement of charges and sentencing.