Three years ago, Judge Jaymie WIlfong started the People's Law School in Elkins to teach residents about the law. She noticed some people had never taken part in the judicial system, and she thought that needed to change.
"Just to make people understand what problems we're facing, and what we're doing to correct those, and how we're trying to help and provide services. I think an educated group of people, an educated community can help us fix the problems," said Judge Wilfong.
That's why she was joined by 65 community members Thursday night. They'll be covering topics concerning family and criminal law, elder care, and even Thursday night's topic, drug abuse. Many participants said they were anxious to learn about what they can do to make the area a better place.
"What the signs and symptoms are and things like that. Once you know that, you're more aware of it and you see it and you're like, 'oh my goodness, that's in the neighborhood,' and I know from experience once I found out a few things about meth labs and things like that, I started making phone calls," said Cindy AlleyCollins, an Elkins resident who attended the session for the first time Thursday night.
During the six weeks, the judge will be joined by local lawyers, members of her office, and others. On Thursday, she was joined by the five Randolph County probation officers, who taught the crowd about the area's drug problems and ways they're trying to reduce the issues.
"I think education is important. Just letting people know what's out there, what we see. You know, we talked a lot about suboxone today, but just to see what is in the community. We hear a lot about nationwide, but to hear what happens in Randolph County, I think it helps a lot of people," said Randolph County's Chief Probation Officer, Heidi Hawkins.
With one week under their belt, many people are ready to head back for the other five classes.
"Once you know what's going on in the community, both good and bad, you get to participate in both. You get to be aware of what the bad things are and stay away from them, and you get to be aware of the good things and participate in them," said AlleyCollins.
It's not too late to attend the classes. You can sign up by calling the judge's office at (304)-636-3815.
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