First Drug Court Graduation of 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017, marked the very first Drug Court Graduation of the year, complete with motivation and a great deal of applause. Courtroom C-10 was filled with guests and supporters of the program including Chief Judge Robert Morin and former Drug Court Judge Gregory Jackson. As participants in the program received their certificates for transitioning into a new phase, the graduates were greeted by an alumnus of the program who felt after completing Drug Court that he must do his part to give back. He spoke about his drug use that began in 8th grade with marijuana which escalated to PCP, citing the death of his parents as an event that was difficult for him to cope with. Though he went on to encourage the participants in their post-graduate walk stating, "Don’t use adversity as an excuse, life will always bring you adversity."
The Honorable Judge Wendell Gardner, now presiding over Drug Court, said a few words to the graduates but not before former Drug Court Judge Gregory Jackson made his appearance as previously promised. Upon Judge Jackson’s arrival, an excited buzz erupted in the room from attendees. Many of them having had Judge Jackson preside over their own Drug Court cases in the past. Greeting the crowd with a smile, he said “I miss you all, what I miss most is being able to talk to you. I will continue to come back for as many graduations as I can.” Judge Gardner closed out the ceremony, introducing himself to the attendees and sharing how excited he was to be back on the Drug Court calendar. He also expressed how impressed he was with the positive changes to Drug Court as well as his excitement to continue on the journey with new program participants.