A 30-minute documentary about local Judge Mary Ann Gunn’s Washington County Drug Court will debut on PBS Thursday night (April 28).
Therapeutic Justice: Life Inside Drug Court was created by former Fayetteville resident Jesse Abdenour, and follows Judge Gunn’s quest to help local residents kick their drug addictions. It also examines drug court as an alternative to prison in the treatment of non-violent drug offenders.
Judge Gunn has presided over Washington County’s Drug Court since she founded the program nearly 12 years ago
Gunn has faced criticism for allowing television cameras into her courtroom, which airs on Jones TV in more than 200,000 households in Northwest Arkansas. According to the film synopsis, of the 2,400 drug courts in the country, Gunn’s program is the only one with its own TV show. It is also the only court that holds actual sessions inside local schools, and is considered by many to be one of the most successful programs in the country.
Former Razorback quarterback Matt Jones makes an appearance in the documentary as well. Jones participated in the drug court program to avoid jail-time after being arrested on felony cocaine charges in 2008.
Therapeutic Justice will air Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. on AETN, the Arkansas PBS affiliate. AETN can be found on Cox Communications channel 13 (channel 2013 in HD).