Cleveland: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug Court held its fall graduation ceremony on Thursday, October 18, at 4:30PM in the 4th floor Jury Assembly room of the Justice Center.
With 27 graduates, this was the largest Drug Court graduating class since 2011. Drug Court also reached its milestone 400th graduate with the ceremony!
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 opioid epidemic is a national health care crisis that we are combatting at the local level,” says Drug Court Judge David T. Matia. “It takes the cooperation of the courts, the legislature, and law enforcement to combat this deadly issue on a larger scale.”
Judge Matia has presided over the Cuyahoga County Drug Court docket since its inception in 2009. In 2017, a second Drug Court docket was added to address the additional cases stemming from the opioid epidemic. A third docket, Recovery Court, began in 2015 under Judge Joan Synenberg to deal with not only drug and alcohol addiction, but also underlying mental health issues related to trauma.
In 2017, 261 defendants were screened for Drug Court and Recovery Court eligibility. Of those, 127 were formally placed into Drug Court and 75 in Recovery Court, totaling 202 participants. 64 people graduated from the Drug Court programs in 2017.