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Cobb County Courts receive top honors from Council of Accountability Judges


The Council of Accountability Court Judges have selected both the Cobb County Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court and the Cobb County Family Treatment Court as Model Courts for 2021–2024.

Model Courts serve as a resource to other Georgia accountability courts in need of programmatic and technical assistance and both Cobb Courts were recognized and bestowed the honor for their commitment to Georgia’s Accountability Court Standards. 

In addition, the 2021 STAR Award by the Council of Accountability Court Judges was awarded to retired Marine Sgt. Maj. Ernie Hines in recognition of his excellence and long-standing dedication to the program. Hines has served as mentor coordinator for Cobb’s Veterans Court since its creation. Judge Tain Kell, who presides over Veterans Court, expressed his support, saying he is “extraordinarily proud of the Sergeant Major.” He also paid tribute to the team, saying “The entire Veterans Court team is incredible, and we are thrilled to be recognized as a model court.”

Cobb’s Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court (VATC) was established in 2014 and has graduated more than 50 participants. It serves veterans facing criminal charges by providing treatment and other support to help return participants to productivity rather than remain incarcerated. Program participants are paired with an honorably discharged veteran through the VATC Mentor Program. With the new designation as a Model Court, VATC will continue to improve the lives of local veteran participants in Cobb.

Cobb’s Family Treatment Court (FTC) began in 2006 and has served more than 130 graduates. Judge Jeffrey Hamby presides over FTC, which operates within Juvenile Court. The program serves parents with substance-use disorders who have lost custody of their children by managing and monitoring the parents’ progress through a five-phase program over a minimum of 19 months. Staff of the FTC, its treatment providers, the Department of Family and Children Services, and the Court collaborate toward securing and ensuring safe, stable and reunified families. The program also saves taxpayer dollars by decreasing the time children are in foster care and increasing permanency outcomes with healthy, drug-free, reunified families.

Of the program, Hamby said “The team is highly trained, knowledgeable, compassionate, and truly trying to help these parents. Together with the therapists and community partners, they make my job easy: show some tough love, provide a structured regimen for success, sanction when necessary, and let folks know that the team really cares.”

For more information on these programs, contact VATC coordinator Katelyn Parker at 770-528-7988 or FTC coordinator Jennifer Tillery at 770-528-3342.


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