May is Drug Court Awareness Month, and our Court is fortunate to have three Drug Court dockets, with a fourth being added.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court began building its Drug Court program in 2008 with the appointment of Judge David Matia to the docket. Drug Court adheres to science-based principals, only accepting those who are assessed with moderate to severe substance use diagnosis. Drug Court has graduated hundreds of individuals, returning them to their communities as sober citizens.
Judge Matia’s current docket focuses on clients who suffer from Opioid Use disorders and may benefit from medically assisted treatment. Additionally, we have a standard Drug Court docket presided over by Judge Kelly A. Gallagher. In 2015, Judge Joan Synenberg was appointed to preside over the Recovery Court docket. This docket addresses underlying trauma-related mental health issues that may contributed to a client’s addiction, specifically those suffering from sexual exploitation or human trafficking. This summer, Judge William McGinty will begin a third Drug Court docket focusing on those who are at high risk to reoffend and potentially lengthier criminal histories.
To celebrate Drug Court Awareness Month, the Court has produced a video narrated by the people who work with our Drug Court clients. They discuss why the docket is so important, and what it means to be part of a team that helps people return to sobriety.