June 2019 Drug Court Graduation - Eleven Graduates!
On June 19, the DC Superior Court Drug Intervention Program (SCDIP, more commonly referred to as “Drug Court”) held its monthly graduation ceremony. The eleven graduates came from different backgrounds and had very different life stories. The courtroom was packed with the graduates, family members and other supporters, past Drug Court alumni, current Drug Court program participants, and Drug Court staff..
Drug Court provides participants the opportunity to overcome substance abuse through a wide array of program options individually-supervised by the DC Pretrial Services Agency (PSA). Overall, participants’ progress is monitored by a Superior Court judge. Upon successful completion of the stringent requirements, each individual will graduate from Drug Court, resulting in various charges being nolled (dropped by the prosecutor), dismissed or reduced.
After receiving their certificates at the ceremony, some graduates provided brief remarks, recalling the hard work they had invested to attain sobriety and their level of commitment to program completion and graduation. Others discussed the help and support they had received from their case-workers, lawyers, families, and fellow program participants. Some graduates emphasized how grateful they were to their individual case-workers who had never stopped encouraging them to persevere through tough times and myriad challenges until finally achieving success. As some graduates described it, the case-workers were strict in enforcing the rules but that discipline and strictness directly contributed to the graduates’ success. Most of all, the majority of the graduates expressed their thankfulness for the program writ large and how it has made a positive impact on their lives.
Superior Court Judge Wendell P. Gardner, Jr., who presides over Drug Court, as well as a former Drug Court alumni provided inspirational remarks to the new graduates, urging them to continue their progress and maintain sobriety. It was evident that each graduate departed the ceremony more inspired and determined to live a life of sobriety. The Drug Court staff stands ready to help the next class of Drug Court graduates as they participate, struggle, gain determination, and progress along the journey to sobriety and success, ultimately graduating to a brighter future.
For more information about the DC Drug Court Program, see https://www.dccourts.gov/services/criminal-matters/community-court-and-problem-solving-courts or https://www.psa.gov/?q=node/514.
For information about drug court programs in general, see https://www.nadcp.org/treatment-courts-work/.