A Choice, Better Health Habits, Or Jail
Photo by: Dennis Eckel
Judge Deanna Farnell spoke recently to members and guests of the Rotary Club of Clearwater at a Wednesday noon meeting at the Belleair Country Club. Gil McArthur, Rotarian and a Financial Advisor, introduced Farnell as the presiding judge over the innovative Drug Court in our community. The Drug Court is considered one of the best in the nation and has achieved remarkable results in helping non-violent individuals with drug problems avoid a prison sentence. Judge Farnell and the court help direct individuals to get off drugs, improve their health, and often become able to return to a working occupation. The judge is known to order participation in a running program to help break addictions and to improve their health. Pregnant addicts are guided in efforts to deliver a drug free baby. Those with drug addictions have a choice, better health habits or time in jail.
Judge Deanna Farnell is in her 15th year as a Circuit Court Judge. In the Drug Court, she is often not seated above the defendants on the bench, but faces them on the floor at eye level, to show them respect. This is a voluntary program that involves frequent appearances before the judge. Judge Farnell means it when she tells defendants that she wants to see them make it through their program successfully, and regain their positions as productive members of the community. She invites participants who have succeeded in conquering their addiction to return to court to share their stories of triumph with current drug court participants.
Return to Current Edition