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Local woman awarded for helping others recover from drug addiction

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0  Updated at 1:58 pm, September 13th, 2017 By: Leslie Sieger, EastIdahoNews.com

Liberty Potts, center, with husband Doug and daughter Leslie. | Courtesy photo

BLACKFOOT – In October 2010, Libertie Potts was in jail facing six years in state prison for 10 felonies in three counties — Bonneville, Bingham and Bannock.

Judges in all three counties had sentenced her to prison for various drug- or theft-related crimes.

“I had alienated my family. I didn’t have friends. I only had people I sold drugs to. I had no hope at that moment,” Potts said. “I gave my commissary (products purchased through the jail) away. I was waiting to go to prison.”

But that prison sentence never happened. While she was waiting to be transported to the Women’s Prison in Pocatello, Blackfoot attorney Kevin Peterson set out to persuade the judges in all three counties to change their minds.

“I am never going to feel that humiliated again.”

“When they called over the (jail) intercom and told me ‘Libertie Potts, roll your wrap.’ I knew I was getting ready to go to prison,” Potts said.

She was surprised to learn Peterson was able to convince the courts to change her sentence to the Wood Pilot Program, as it was known at the time.

“At that moment it was like, ‘I’m done.’ I am never going to feel that humiliated again. From now on, it’s going to just be recovery and never have to go through that again,” she said.

She began her path to recovery and after successfully completing the program Potts began to mentor other recovering addicts — becoming a peer support specialist for the Wood Court (a problem-solving court) in Bonneville County. Potts’ job is to demonstrate there is hope for a better life without drugs. The program now has 20 to 30 mentors working with new participants in the program.

“They will pick them (new participants) up at the jail and take them to a meeting or a…

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