8th Circuit Judge Vernon Cotten is retiring from the bench, effective May 31. He has served the 8th Circuit District of Neshoba, Newton, Leake and Scott counties for nearly 20 years. Cotten made the announcement at the opening of the current term of Leake County Circuit Court. He just turned 80 a couple of weeks ago.

A retirement celebration will be held today for Circuit Judge Vernon R. Cotten for his dedication and service as Circuit Judge of the Eighth Judicial District and founder of the Eighth Judicial District Drug Court. The public is invited to attend the event today from 2 pm – 4 pm at the National Guard Armory in Carthage.

The Eighth Judicial District Drug Court, founded by Judge Cotten, is the first certified in the State of Mississippi and the largest to date. The drug court program is nationally recognized by the NADCP and helps a wide variety of participants such as DUI offenders, Veterans, and Probation offenders.

The most recent graduation was held on May 2, 2017, where 19 participants successfully graduated from the Drug Court Program.

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