Graduates from Mental Health Docket have charges dismissed

Graduates from Mental Health Docket have charges dismissed

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Ronald Reagan once said we can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone. That's what Potter County's Mental Health Docket is all about.

Today, the Commissioner's Court celebrated two members who successfully completed the program pioneered by Judge Nancy Tanner by dismissing the misdemeanor offenses against them.

"If you're a good candidate, you can be on the program and see your counselor, get on your meds, see your doctor before you leave here," says Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner. "Do everything we ask you to do in the six month time of the program, and if you don't get in trouble and some of them do, if you don't get in trouble in the six months we dismiss the charges."

If a participant strays from the difficult program, Judge Tanner wants to give them another opportunity to succeed. She commends those who are able to put in the work and graduate.

"Being consistent, being focused on wanting to succeed. It means a lot to me to say I really want to be better for my future," said Graduate Michael Mitchell.

The first ever graduate of the program was in attendance to champion how the program has helped him stay on the right path.

"Tell them not to be afraid to call anybody that was here," said Victor Smith. "I even gave them my phone number if they're a little shy or afraid to call any of these people, maybe they wouldn't be with me."

Of the five involved in this six month round, two of them graduated. No matter the percentage, Judge Tanner says making a difference in the lives of inmates is a win.

"Years down the line, I'm going to continue to do what I do and hopefully get more people involved in it," says Judge Tanner. "The DA is involved in it and he does the felony part and it's hard for them too because they're charged with a more violent crime. It's a difficult program, but I'm not going to ever give up on them. So, hopefully down the line, it'll get more publicity and more people will join the program."

Even after graduation, Potter County officials say they're always here to help the graduates progress forward.

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