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Cheatham County Welcomes Much Needed Recovery Court Program

Margaret Brady Wilkerson, Cassandra Miller, Judge Phillip Maxey, Brandy Harter, and Jack Arnold (Photo: Kalyn Noland)

Cheatham County Recovery Court (CCRC) held an introduction dinner at The Livery Stables in Pleasant View on Thursday, July 20, 2023. During the well-attended event, interested parties were familiarized with the court's purpose, its many functions, and the benefits of having a local recovery court.

In attendance were several county commissioners, State Representative Mary Littleton, Sheriff Tim Binkley, law enforcement, community agencies, local attorneys, non-profit organizations, neighboring county’s Recovery Court teams, and many more. Guest speakers of the evening included Judge Joel Perry- the Robertson County Recovery judge, and Brian Edens, the family support specialist for Sumner County Recovery Court.

Currently, CCRC is working on certification through the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (TDMHSA), and is not currently funded; the program will not be funded by Cheatham County tax-payer dollars, but rather a combination of federal and state funds earmarked for recovery courts, a portion of fines collected from drug-related charges, participant fees, and state/federal grants as awarded.

“Cheatham County has been in need of recovery court services at the general sessions level for a very long time, and I think we just finally had the right combination of passionate people together in a room to push forward and make it happen," says Brandy Harter who helped spearhead the local initiative. "As the daughter of a person in long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol, I am a personal testament to the ripple effect that can happen when a parent finds lasting recovery."

Event sponsors were The Quintenn Clark Foundation, the Cheatham County Community Enhancement Coalition, The Livery Stables, The Eden Center for Families, Inc., Mirror Lake Recovery Center, JourneyPure at the River, and Magnolia Ranch Recovery.

Pleasant View resident Brandy Harter has helped spearhead Cheatham's Recovery Court (Photo: Kalyn Noland)

Cheatham County Recovery Court: The Details

The state's 82 recovery courts are judicially-supervised court dockets that are geared toward reducing correctional costs, increasing safety in communities, and improving public welfare. Cheatham County Recovery Court participants will be those with non-violent drug-related charges who are high-risk, high-need, with a substance use disorder and motivation for change. They will engage in strict supervision, regular drug screenings, treatment, trauma assessment, one-on-one and group therapy, mental health and medical evaluations, as well as any other recommendations deemed appropriate by the court staff.

Additionally, the CCRC team will work to assess participants’ gaps in resources from transportation and stable housing to job readiness and financial wellness. They will work alongside numerous agencies, organizations, and volunteers to help restore its participants to wholeness, and assist them on their journey to a safe and substance-free life.

Cheatham County Recovery Court : The Leaders

The CCRC team is lead by Judge Phillip Maxey who has served over general sessions court for 30-plus years and is seeing second and third generations of families coming through with the same struggles.

Margaret Brady Wilkerson, defense attorney, and Jack Arnold, asst. district attorney, serve as legal advisors for the CCRC team; Harter and Cassandra Miller- boasting 23-combined years of mental health/substance abuse experience- will respectively serve as director and coordinator.

"We are so excited to be able to catch people before their legal troubles have escalated to the felony level," adds Harter. "We believe this will be life-changing for our community. I grew up here, and am personally invested in this community; these are our children, our friends, our neighbors...and we’ve buried too many."

To learn more about how you can support CCRC, email Brandy Harter at


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