The Drug Court Option is an hour-long broadcast that focuses on extremely effective alternatives rather than imprisoning an addict. In doing so, drug courts insert hope and support into the very lives of people who the traditional justice system says are hopeless.

Key Concepts:

  • Understand the difference between traditional courts and drug courts
  • See how the prison system is often involved in the drug court process
  • Learn how drug courts focus on accountability
  • Find out how drug courts can reduce crime and recidivism
  • Learn how to forge partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations
  • See how defendants in need of treatment are identified and referred to treatment after arrest
  • Learn how to forge partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations

Originally Aired: February 25, 2010

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Panelists

Guy A. Wheeler

Criminal Justice Addiction Professional; Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Guy Wheeler is a nationally known consultant with over 20 years of experience working with in-jail and outpatient drug treatment programs. Wheeler is president of Guy A. Wheeler and Associates (GWA), a Florida based consulting firm that specializes in practical preventions and intervention strategies for developing effective treatment programs. Prior to starting his own company, Wheeler served as Administrator and Assistant at one of the largest, accredited sheriff departments in the country, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department and Community Control.

Wheeler earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University with a major in Forensic Studies and minor in African American Studies. He earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Barry University and is state certified as a Criminal Justice Addiction Professional, DUI Instructor, Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, and a Certified HIV/AIDS trainer with special interest toward African Americans. Wheeler earned a Doctorate Degree in Christian Psychology from Jacksonville Theological Center. He is also is Certified Cultural Competence trainer who received training by nationally known expert, Professor/Lecturer, Dr. Frances Brisbane of Stony Brook University in New York.

Cynthia Herriott

National Drug Court Institute; Alexandria, VA

Cynthia Herriott is Deputy Director of the National Drug Court Institute located in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a retired police patrol Lieutenant for the City of Rochester, New York. As a part of her duties she worked with and advised the Rochester Drug Treatment Court, the Mental Health Court, and the Psychiatric Center. Herriott served as the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Project Director in 2002 for the COPS “Police Chiefs, Sheriffs and Drug Courts” Monograph and designed the format. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and served as chair of the Audit and Review Committee, and is a member of the Training Committee. She is also a member of the International Association of the Chiefs of Police. She is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s State and Local Law Enforcement Advisory Training Committee, which determines the training needs of local law enforcement throughout the United States. She holds a Master of Science Degree and is a New York State Certified Trainer.

Melanie G. May

Appellate Judge, Fourth District Court of Appeal, Palm Beach, FL

Judge May graduated from Broward Community College in 1971 and Florida Atlantic University in 1973. Judge May was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal by Governor Jeb Bush on October 31, 2001. In 2003, Governor Bush appointed her to the board of directors of the newly formed Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation, and was reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist, where she continues to serve. Judge May served on the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Treatment-based Drug Courts. She is the Florida Supreme Court’s appointment to the Advisory Council of the Florida Office of Drug Control. She is a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation. She is an emeritus board member and past board chair of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and past chair of the Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Judge May received a B.S from Florida Atlantic University and is a summa cum laude graduate of Nova Law Center.