New Leadership for Superior Court Accountability Courts
July 26, 2021 – Chief Judge Robert D. Leonard announces two new presiding judges and a new coordinator for Cobb Superior Court’s Accountability Court programs.
Accountability courts aim to treat an offender’s underlying issues and return individuals to being productive members of society while reducing the cost of incarcerating generally non-violent offenders. Cobb Superior Court has four such courts: Drug Treatment Court, which includes both regular and intermediate tracks; Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court; Mental Health Court; and Parental Accountability Court. Various county and state offices collaborate with the judges and staff in operating individual accountability courts.
Judge C. LaTain Kell passes the gavel for Intermediate Drug Treatment Court and now presides over the Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court.
“It has been my great joy to participate as the judge of the Intermediate Drug Court since its inception. We have seen many participants make amazing changes in their lives and I can imagine no greater experience than that as a judge. Judge Childs is both a good judge and a good person. She is the perfect judge to take over the direction of this court. I am now fortunate to begin work with the Veteran’s Accountability and Treatment Court. That program has a solid foundation established by former Judge Reuben Green. I look forward to continuing the great work of that court, working with veterans to improve their lives,” said Judge Kell, who joined the bench in December 2007.
Veteran’s Court aims to divert eligible veterans who have substance dependency, mental health needs, or both, and who generally are charged with non-violent offenses. Peer mentoring by fellow veterans is a key component of the program and is coupled with appropriate medical and behavioral-health treatment. Veterans court was established in Cobb in 2014 and has graduated more than 50 participants.
Judge Kimberly A. Childs takes over presiding duties for Intermediate Drug Court.
Established in 2017 under the leadership of Judge Kell, Intermediate Drug Treatment Court (IDTC) strives to enhance public safety through an intensive program of treatment, judicial supervision, and individual accountability. This 12-month program is designed specifically for lower-risk, lower-need alcohol and chemically dependent participants. Through various Court and treatment-oriented programs, participants address the immediate symptoms of addiction and focus on a healthy path to lifelong sobriety.
Before IDTC, those who fell below the higher threshold required for the regular Drug Treatment Court were denied acceptance. As she assumes her presiding role, Judge Childs said, “Given the successful participant involvement over the past 4.5 years, it is clear to me that an intermediate track was necessary and is viable. The IDTC team is dedicated to helping participants overcome addiction and reduce recidivism. I’m honored to be part of this life-changing program.” IDTC celebrated its most recent graduate on July 14, and the next graduation is scheduled for September.
Drug Treatment Court Welcomes New Coordinator Porsha Middlebrook.
In May, Porsha Middlebrook (pictured) assumed leadership of both tracks of Drug Treatment Court as its new Coordinator. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in family and consumer science, Ms. Middlebrook has devoted her career to facilitating re-entry for offenders and reducing recidivism. Her experience includes more than a decade as an inmate employment counselor for the Sheriff’s Office Work Release Program, as well as a pretrial intervention counselor with the Department of Corrections.
With a little over two months on the job, Ms. Middlebrook states: “I am profoundly passionate about the work Drug Treatment Court accomplishes. Drug Court undoubtedly has made a difference in the lives of many people. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve our participants and give back to my community.”
For more information, visit cobbcounty.org/SuperiorAC or contact Superior Court Administrator Christopher Hansard at 770-528-1802.