Madison Middle students spend morning in court

The Richmond Exchange Club had more than 30 Madison Middle School students in court Wednesday morning.

They weren’t in trouble, however.

Their appearance was part of the civic club’s effort to help the students learn about the criminal justice system with an eye toward keeping them out of trouble.

Wednesday’s session wasn’t a conventional proceeding. It was a review for non-violent felony drug offenders who are working toward legal and personal rehabilitation.

Known as drug court, the four-phase program can include in-patient addiction treatment as well as counseling classes, group therapy sessions and regular supervision as well as drug/alcohol testing.

Those without high school diplomas must earn general education diplomas. All must work toward obtaining employment. In the program’s final phase, they must perform 25 hours of community service work until they find regular jobs. Read more.