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OUR OPINION: Happy retirement Judge Little

A retirement ceremony was held on Thursday for State Court Judge Jeannette Little, who is retiring after serving in that role for 30 years. Little has worked for the county for even longer, and her total impact is hard to quantify.

She founded the Troup County DUI/Drug Court in 2004 and was the first judge of the Troup County Felony Drug Court, which started in 2011. She was a big proponent of alternative sentencing, and her methods changed the way sentencing is handed out in Troup County. 

Instead of older, harsher punishments like jail time, Little understood the importance of reforming behavior. In terms of drugs and alcohol, if people are going to jail and not learning to overcome their past mistakes, then what exactly are they getting from it?

Instead of locking offenders in a cell and throwing away the key, programs like the DUI and drug court help people change their lives for the better, and the statistics show that it works. As state court judge, her role included hearing misdemeanors, issuing search and arrest warrants and holding preliminary hearings for criminal and civil matters.

Little’s leadership and guidance will be missed in the courtroom and in the county in general, and we wish her well in her retirement. Wesley Leonard will take over as state court judge after winning the election in August. We’re sure Leonard knows he has big shoes to fill, but we also know he’s ready and we’re confident he’ll do a good job.