Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies

First Advisor

Andrew C. Harper

Second Advisor

John F. Rash

Third Advisor

Melanie Ho


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



In Ellisville, Mississippi, some heroes do not wear capes. The Jones County Drug Court, located in rural Mississippi, fights drug and alcohol addiction daily. This drug court program, led by the tough but compassionate Consuelo Walley, supervises about 70 to 90 participants in their recovery journey. In recent years, this program has grown to be known as one of the most efficient in its region, and I made it my mission to uncover why that is. It turns out staff members are themselves recovering addicts, who utilize their own experience as a way to connect and relate to their participants. The head of the program, Ms. Walley, also has first-hand experience with drug addiction as her own family has been touched by the never-ending disease. Supported by a benevolent Circuit Court Judge, participants spend 3 to 5 years working on their recovery. They learn how to change their habits, they learn life skills, and they learn how to be productive members of society. Rather than throwing these individuals away to the incarceration system, the community in Jones County took it upon itself to help these people in any way they can. Even if sometimes even an entire community’s efforts do not suffice, the Jones County Drug Court’s staff never gives up on those society left behind. In the 22-minute documentary film that accompanies this thesis, I dive into the world of recovery from addiction and try to shine a light on these Unsung Heroes, those who fight an inner battle against their own body and mind, and those who accompany them through every step of the way.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.