ELKINS, W.Va. – In addition to finding sobriety, two Randolph County Adult Drug Court graduates found each other.
Jeremy Summerfield, 23, of Elkins, and Kim Summerfield, 25, of Belington, who were married after meeting each other in the Adult Drug Court program, both graduated Tuesday.
The pair were honored after successfully completing the year-long state program geared toward helping individuals who were previously convicted of crimes to stay drug-free.
“Randolph County Drug Court has changed my life in every way, all for the better. I’m thankful for this program in many ways,” Jeremy Summerfield said. “Without all the help I could have easily became a statistic in all the wrong ways.
I’m thankful for the place I am in life and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Randolph County Drug Court.”
Kim Summerfield said without the help of the treatment team, she would not have found success in the program.
“Randolph County Adult Drug Court has helped me to change my life for the better. I am truly grateful to have been a part of the program and I would like to thank my family and the drug court treatment team for being such a wonderful support system,” she said. “You all have made a difference in my life and helped me to become the person I am today.”
Anthony Severino, Randolph County Adult Drug Court probation officer, said he is incredibly proud of both graduates and the hard work they put into completing the program.
“I have had the privilege of working with Kim and Jeremy from day one when they were at the lowest points of their lives. They both have worked extremely hard and put forth great effort to get to where they are today and it’s remarkable to see the difference from day one,” Severino said. “This program is designed to push participants to their limits, to provide structure and support to ones that need it the most and to teach them how to use the tools they are taught in treatment.
“Recovery isn’t something you can be forced into; you have to truly want it for yourself. Not every participant makes it through the program and it’s only due to Kim and Jeremy’s hard work and motivation that they have improved their lives and became productive members of society,” he continued.
“The Summerfield’s are a true example of how effective drug court programs can be for individuals that truly want to better themselves and restore their lives. Kim and Jeremy are on their way to live an amazing life and I have the utmost faith in them in whatever goals they want to achieve.”
Circuit Court Judge David Wilmoth added he was amazed to see how much they have both accomplished.
“I think it’s great (to see them succeed in the program). I have watched them come most of the way through the program. It’s not an easy program,” Wilmoth said. “It’s something they’ve struggled with but they finally made it through and I’m proud of them for having the fortitude to do that.
“It’s been amazing the things they’ve gone through and the changes they’ve made. I think if you ask them, they will recognize and they’ll admit – readily admit – that they’ve made some big changes and they needed to make some changes,” he added. “It’s been impressive to see that.”
Jeremy Summerfield said both he and Kim are now more productive members of society and credits that, largely, to the program.
“If it wasn’t for the drug court program there is no way we’d be anywhere. We both have full-time jobs, we have our own house, we have our families back,” he said. “If it wasn’t for drug court there’s no way we’d have anything that we have now.”
Both Summerfields also offered words of encouragement to those that are still working through the program.
“It can be done. We’ve had more than enough slip-ups and they have more faith than most people, so it can be done,” Jeremy Summerfield said.
“I would just like to say that you just push your way through it,” Kim Summerfield added. “Anybody can do it if you set your mind to it but you have to want it for yourself before anybody else can want it for you.”
They said their future plans are to buy a home and build a family.
Drug Court is a specially designed court program. The purpose is to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among offenders and to increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation through early, continuous and intense treatment; mandatory periodic drug testing; community supervision; appropriate sanctions and incentives; and other rehabilitation services, all of which are supervised. The program also provides a support system of counseling and education, including lessons in money management and parenting classes.
The program is broken up into three phases that each have a varying degree of intensity and help transition participants into being productive members of society again.
Drug Court participants are required to be employed 40 hours a week or perform 40 hours of community service, or a combination of the two.
There are currently 11 people in the Randolph County Drug Court Program, which was started in October 2012.
As of this spring, the program has experienced a zero percent recidivism rate of its graduates, which currently stand at 14.
Another Adult Drug Court graduation is slated for April 5.
Wilmoth added that he believes this program is imperative to the community.
“We just graduated two people that are now employed, that are no longer using drugs and that are going to have a positive impact on the people they come into contact with,” Wilmoth said. “That can’t be anything but good for Randolph County.”