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Cleveland Drug Court Reaches 1600 Graduates: Success Rate Improves with Longer Treatment

Feb 17, 2017
(Cleveland) – The 54th Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren C. Moore, took place Wednesday, February 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room located on the fourth floor of the Justice Center.
Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer                                  
Cleveland Municipal Court
216 664 6787 / 216 789 2597
ference@cmcoh.org     www.cmcoh.org

(Cleveland) – The 54th Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren C. Moore, took place Wednesday, February 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room located on the fourth floor of the Justice Center.

A total of 20 people graduated, which brings the total number of people who successfully completed the program to 1,600 since it began 19 years ago.   Judge Moore took a moment to point out the latest research funded by a federal grant and conducted by Case Western Reserve University Dr. Margaret Baughman, indicates 91% of the drug court participants studied since 2014 have successfully completed the program, which is significantly higher than the national average of 59%.  Most of that is attributed to the hands-on approach of the Drug Court Team and the longer treatment periods.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Jerry Washington, a retired civil rights investigator now celebrating 24 years of sobriety. 

“Every time I got paid, I spent all my money on drugs. I couldn’t even buy a bus pass.  That all changed on March 8, 1993 when police pulled me over and I ended up in the Cleveland Heights jail charged with a DUI,” he said.  

It could have been worse.  He was also on drugs at the time.   The years of substance abuse led to four marriages and five children, none of which were with the women he wed.  Washington related his story to the graduates knowing many have taken similar paths to sobriety, but the most important thing is it’s still one day at a time.

Participants in the Greater Cleveland Drug Court generally spend 12 to 20 months in the program, the longer time due to the fact that opiate addicts need more treatment time.  Four of the graduates entered the program with felonies.

“And now your case is gone--expunged so you are free to move on with your lives,” said Judge Moore.

Specialized dockets (like the Greater Cleveland Drug Court) are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 150 specialized dockets in Ohio. In 2014, the docket was certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio.  The Drug Court Program began in the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1998 and has since expanded throughout Cuyahoga County.
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