Cleveland: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug and Recovery Courts held their winter graduation ceremonies in February.
18 people completed the Drug Court program on Thursday, February 6, in the 4th floor Jury Assembly room of the Justice Center. Judge David Matia, in his 11th year as Drug Court Judge, presided over the ceremony. The graduates were from his docket, as well as the Drug Court docket of Judge Nancy McDonnell. More than 400 people have graduated since the program began in 2009.
The goal of Drug Court is to reduce recidivism among drug-dependent offenders by providing enhanced treatment services. The majority of participants in the Drug Court program are opiate dependent.
The Recovery Court graduation was held on Thursday, February 20, at the Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park. Judge Joan Synenberg recognized nine people for completing the program, which usually takes two years. Recovery Court deals with not only drug and alcohol addiction, but also underlying mental health issues related to trauma.
In 2018, 315 defendants were screened for Drug Court and Recovery Court eligibility. Of those, 107 were formally placed into Drug Court and 65 in Recovery Court, totaling 172 participants.