A Barrow County judge has agreed to allow a meth addict who admitted violating the rules of Barrow County’s drug court program to remain in the community because of questions raised about the program’s services at an April 26 hearing. Senior Judge T. Penn McWhorter in a May 2 order said James Shannon Kimbrough is addicted to methamphetamine, which the judge characterized as “the most possessive and destructive” type of addiction. The judge also said Kimbrough had admitted to program violations “that, ordinarily, would warrant termination and imposition of the suspended (two-year prison) sentence.”

But McWhorter said evidence presented at the hearing two weeks ago “demonstrated numerous failures on the part of service providers” in the program.

“For example, these providers utilized uncertified counselors, used unreliable and often unidentifiable drug trusts, and produced inaccurate information related to counseling sessions and drug testing,” the order states.

The judge also indicated that service providers may have obtained payment for services that were not rendered.

Those allegations were made against service provider Fawn Alexander and her agency, The Light Homeless Shelter, at the April 26 termination hearing for Kimbrough by two members of the drug court’s own team — assistant district attorney Patricia Brooks and the program’s part-time clerical worker, Krista Reynolds. Alexander has flatly denied their allegations.

The judge noted that the drug court now has a new full-time coordinator and a different service provider, Project ADAM, which he said has a proven track record of results.

“With these changes, the Court is confident that Drug Court will be a success as it continues its mission of treating those addicted to drugs rather than simply incarcerating them,” he wrote.

He ordered that Kimbrough not be terminated from the program, but instead be allowed another opportunity to complete his original contractual agreement with the specialty court.

“This allows all interested parties and participants to achieve their goals and utilize the improvements in the Drug Court Program while also giving Mr. Kimbrough another opportunity to achieve lasting sobriety,” McWhorter wrote. “Ultimately, where Mr. Kimbrough can conquer his addictions rests solely with Mr. Kimbrough.”

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