Judge Cooks up Batch of Iron Pot Chili


APRIL 16, 2024—Logan County Court of Common Pleas’ “Man in Black”—Judge Kevin P. Braig—cooked up a batch of Johnny Cash’s “Iron Pot Chili” for participants in the Logan County Adult Recovery Court (ARC) at its April 15, 2024 session.

“Johnny Cash has been the patron saint of the ARC since I took the bench in 2019,” Judge Braig said. “He suffered from a serious substance abuse disorder. His wife, June Carter Cash, and her family became his treatment team. I am a big fan of his music. It seemed like a perfect fit.”

Judge Braig found the recipe for the original “Man in Black’s” chili on the internet. The key ingredient in the tomato-based recipe is sirloin steak instead of ground beef. A generous dash of cumin gives it a smoky flavor.

“I like to cook and as soon as I saw this recipe I thought, ‘Oh, I have to make this for everyone in ARC.’ At home, after I make something new, I ask my family, ‘Well, should I make it again?’ That is the ultimate test,” Judge Braig.

The ARC participants’ verdict was unanimous: Make it again, Judge.

The ARC treatment team works within the framework of the traditional Logan County Common Pleas Court.  The ARC’s mission is to achieve specific, rehabilitative objectives. The objectives of the ARC are to monitor the treatment for substance abuse disorder of ARC participants, encourage and incentivize ARC participants to achieve rehabilitation and personal accountability, and decrease criminal activity and the need for incarceration.

The ARC provides its participants with the support of Judge Braig, Treatment Coordinator and Program Manager Annette Deao and her assistant Lauren Ater, Compliance Officers Jim Pleasant and Mandy Wilber, and treatment providers from TCN Behavioral Health Services, Community Health Wellness, Mary Rutan Hospital, the Justice Reinvestment Grant, Logan County Assistant Prosecutor Erin Rosen, local attorneys Natalie Bahan and Greg Harvey, and others.  The members of the ARC Team share the goals of (1) empowering ARC participants through treatment, accountability, and responsibility, (2) assisting ARC participants in achieving recovery from substance abuse disorder, and (3) helping ARC participants lead useful and productive lives.