Drug Court Offers Justice and Mercy

Judge Tim Dwyer started the Shelby County Drug Court in 1997 to offer intensive treatment for nonviolent drug offenders with criminal cases. After his teenage cousin had been killed by a drunk driver, Dwyer said he learned the lesson that people with substance abuse issues need justice tempered with mercy. “I’m a judge. I’m sworn to uphold the law,” Dwyer said. “But all of us in the system have a responsibility to try to help people who want and need it. We’re not just trying to lock people up. We’re trying to save lives” he told the Commercial Appeal.