- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The first 1,000 graduates of West Virginia drug courts will be recognized at a ceremony at the state Capitol.

The event is set for Tuesday morning in the lower rotunda. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin and Senate President William Cole III will speak, as will several drug court graduates from across the state.

Benjamin says drug courts combine intensive judicial supervision, regular drug testing, counseling, penalties and incidents to help nonviolent offenders break the cycle of addiction and crime.

Currently, 581 people are participating in 50 adult and juvenile drug court programs in West Virginia. The first one was established in the Northern Panhandle in 2005.

Officials say the programs save state taxpayers $21 million a year in jail and prison costs.

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