Fourteen months ago Justin Buchanan was in the same courtroom in Brookville waiting to be sentenced to jail. “It’s one of those things where you know you’re guilty,” says Buchanan.
Now, he’ll never have to serve that time- because of the drug court program. It’s spearheaded by the district attorney Jeff Burkett. “We need to treat people for the human problems. we cant expect to apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach and think it’s going to work,” says Burkett.
Buchanan was the first one to enroll in the program last year and now he’s the first one to graduate. It was 14 months of drug tests, treatments, and rehabilitation.
However, Buchanan says he was ready for the change. He says his biggest motivations are God and his ten-year-old son, Landen. “We can take back our community and show people, drugs are not going to take over our community. As long as we all fight back together,” adds Buchanan.
On Thursday, the room was full of the same people who were ready to prosecute him. A year later, they are celebrating his accomplishments.
Buchanan says he’s ready to face the world with a new outlook.” I feel good because it’s a season that’s closed. But there’s going to be doors open to the recovery. This is not even close to being over with,” says the graduate.
Buchanan says he hopes to start up a faith-based rehabilitation program down the road.
The District Attorney says that the charges against most drug court graduates will be dismissed, the same as in Buchanan’s case.