Faulkner County Circuit Judge Ed Clawson has been named this year’s Drug Court Judge of the Year.

The award was given last week by the Arkansas Drug Court Professionals Association.

People charged with non-violent drug-related offenses can be eligible for drug court in Faulkner County and most other counties in the state. It is an interdisciplinary, non-adversarial process hoped to "give people an opportunity to control their addiction," Clawson said.

More than 100 people have graduated from the county’s drug court program, and according to Clawson "something like ten of them have had more problems" with the law.

Drug Court is effectively an outpatient drug treatment program, with specially trained probation officers and counselors. Drug offenders accepted into the program plead guilty and submit to an intensely supervised and monitored treatment program.

If they complete the program — and many don’t — the offense is cleared from their record. The program can take 18 months to complete.

Clawson is unopposed for the circuit court’s 3rd Division. He has been a Faulkner County Circuit Judge since 1995.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb, can be reached by email at joe.lamb@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)