The evening of June 14, 2016 was a unique celebration of a completed mission for a group of 19 proud individuals. It marked the 6th commencement ceremony of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit’s Day Reporting Center-Lite (DRC-Lite). The mission of the program is “to provide select offenders the opportunity to change criminal thinking and behavior through a combination of counseling, educational programs, and close supervision.” The project offers second chances to deserving individuals who may have “strayed from the path” but have the potential for brighter futures.
Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony, held at South Georgia Technical College’s Pope Center, before graduates, family, friends, and criminal justice advocates. The latter included: William C. Hall, Coordinating Chief CS Officer of Southwestern Judicial Circuit; Paul Willard, DRC-Lite CS Officer; Victor Dydell, Assistant Chief CS Officer; Honorable Rucker Smith, Judge, Southwestern Judicial Circuit; Scot Mullins, Deputy Director Court/Board/Field Services; and Alyssa Myers, DRC-Lite Counselor.
At the ceremony, a video of Perry Wellness Center was presented to the audience, along with words from its founder. During his remarks, Stuart noted, “We now welcome 77 peers each day from seven Southwest Georgia counties. Like the Day Reporting Center-Lite, we are actively involved as advocates for social improvement.”
Stuart challenged the graduates to realize that they have taken a first step to life improvement and commented, “I think we all realize that our God is in charge. He directs all of us. You have now completed your first graduation of learning from others about the personal challenges in today’s world. Your life is what you make of it, and you have begun.”
Stuart continued, “You graduates have a bigger purpose in life. I have been to my lowest level of mental illness, but I have come back to help others realize the good things that do await you in life. Be aware of the good things around you.”
The Southwestern Judicial Circuit’s DRC-Lite program began in 2012, with only six graduates in its inaugural year. This, 19 graduates were recognized for their personal improvements as they begin more productive lives in their communities.
Graduates at the 2016 Ceremony included: Antwan Bridges, Zerrick Hollis, Jarvis Tyson, Earl Cherry, Quincy Terry, Lakesia McMillan, Eddie Coleman, Morris Daniels, Chris Boyer, Degas Fuller, Octavius Ross, Demetrius Jones, Dontavias Warren, D’Anthony Chambliss, Harvey Harbuck, William Andrews, Antonius Mahome, Arthur Barker, and Dominques Banks.
In the above photo, the 2016 DRC-Lite graduating class celebrates receiving certificates of job completion.