On September 25, Jeffrey L. McPeek became the fifth graduate of the White County Drug Court Program.

Jeff McPeek was on the fast track back to the Illinois Department of Corrections before his life began to change spiritually. After living a significant part of his life in drug addiction and committing crimes, Jeff was shown love and kindness by members of the New Beginnings Church in Carmi. Jeff was introduced to Jesus Christ and began to see a life separate from homelessness, drug addiction and crimes. 

With the consent of his victim and a strong support system of family and church members, the Court gave Jeff an opportunity to complete Drug Court. If he failed, he was looking at an extended period in jail. 

Drug Court is an intense probation that focuses on helping those suffering from addiction to overcome their struggles and live a drug free lifestyle. It consists of the probationer meeting regularly with the Drug Court Team and with the probationer completing long-term inpatient treatment, attending aftercare outpatient services, completing 240 hours of community service, frequently submitting to drug and alcohol screening, obtaining employment and paying their fines and court costs. For most people suffering from drug addiction, being sent to prison is the simpler path. Jeff successfully completed his Drug Court Probation by completing everything that was asked of him and more. He not only became a participant in the program, he shined as a leader who has helped lead many others with the same struggles with addiction into a life of sobriety.

Associate Judge Mark Shaner applauded Jeff for his 38 months of sobriety and for being such a hard worker throughout his time on Drug Court. Jeff thanked the Drug Court Team and the Court, “for giving him the opportunity to prove the change God was making in my life.” The ceremony was concluded by Judge Shaner presenting Jeff with a certificate of completion and by discharging him from probation.

State Attorney Denton Aud stated with pride, “I, along with the other members of the Drug Court Team, cannot express how proud we are of Jeff for his success and for the positive impact that he is having and will continue to have on so many other people struggling with addiction. As someone who prosecuted Jeff multiple times, I can positively attest that the transformation of this man is like night and day. Jeff is proof that it is never too late for people to change. My prayer is that he will continue to lead others like he does, that he will continue to praise God and that he will tell his story to those that need to hear it to help get them out of the deep pit of addiction.”