LEWIS COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) Residents gathered at the Weston Volunteer Fire Department for a community meeting regarding the drug court process in their city.
Lewis County and Weston officials, including Judge Kurt Hall of the 26th Circuit Court, Magistrate Rob Clem and Weston Police Chief JP Thomas were in attendance to answer residents' questions.
Billie Lee, president of the Weston Central Neighborhood Watch, organized the meeting.
"Everybody was inquiring about what the jobs were of local law enforcement, and their job in drug arrests, what the judge's job was and the magistrate's," Lee explained.
During the meeting, the panel of law enforcement officials broke down the drug court process and addressed matters such as the lack of resources, including rehabilitation facilities and counseling centers.
Judge Hall explained that crimes, such as breaking and entering or petty theft, are fueled by drugs.
"Most of our crime, completely across the board, is drug driven," said Judge Hall.
The law enforcement officials also talked about the overcrowding of jails and the chronic understaffing of police forces.
They also shared stories about former drug addicts who went through the drug court process and successfully re-entered society.
"All the people that have participated in our drug program, to date, none of them have recidivist." said Judge Hall, "So none of them have violated a criminal law since they entered the program."
Community members also asked how they could help fight this epidemic. In response, Chief Thomas urged those in attendance to promote community engagement.