Cristi Beaumont will take the bench next week as the new Washington and Madison County Circuit Court Judge.
Her passion is drug court.
“I’ve never seen anything that has the impact and helps as many people as drug court does,” said Beaumont.
Former Judge Mary Ann Gunn started the drug court program, and then when she left for her own TV show, Judge Chadd Mason took the bench for a year before Beaumont was elected last month.
“Very big shoes to fill. I like to think I’m a combination of the two of them. The thing that I think that Judge Gunn did very well is that she got to know the participants in the program. She knew every single thing about them,” said Beaumont.
Beaumont says Mason created a work program within drug court putting participants into jobs, which she will carry on.
“'If you have a job it helps so much. It gives you confidence, you`re able to support the family, you`re able to help pay your fins and fees, it helps the sobriety a lot,” added Beaumont.
She also has new ideas, one of which is doing drug court at night.
“I want to make it easy on them to keep a job so if it`s a hardship on them to have to come to court, then the team and I have absolutely no problem staying late so they can keep their job and help support their family,” explained Beaumont.
Beaumont will fulfill the remainder of Judge Gunn's term, which is two years.
She says she will then run again. The robing ceremony will be January 3rd at the historic Washington County Courthouse.