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Greater Cleveland Drug Court Stages 63rd Graduation: 1,776 Grads over 20 years!!

Nov 25, 2019
Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer                                   

Cleveland Municipal Court
216 664 6787 / 216 789 2597

(Cleveland) – The 63rd Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court, under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren C. Moore, took place Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room of the Justice Center.

A total of seven people graduated, bringing the total number of people who have successfully completed the program to 1,776 since it began in 1998.  The first graduation took place in May, 1999.

Rick Lazarowycz was among them and he was overly enthusiastic to share his story.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Jimmie Feaster, a recovering alcoholic who did time in jail for selling drugs.  Finding himself on the wrong side of the law was a game changer for him.

“That was a beautiful thing.  That’s what helped me because I never would have found how helpless I was,” he told the crowd.

Jimmie has since turned his life around and now is a successful business owner and father.

Participants in the Greater Cleveland Drug Court generally spend 12 to 20 months in the program. Longer cases may occur due to the fact that opiate addicts generally need more treatment time.  This year, four of the graduates entered the program with felonies, while the others were charged with lesser offenses.

Specialized dockets like the Greater Cleveland Drug Court are dedicated to handling offenses related to substance abuse, and use a combination of techniques for holding the offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior.

There are more than 150 specialized dockets in Ohio. In 2014, this particular docket was certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The Drug Court Program began in the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1998, however, and has since expanded to other parts of Cuyahoga County.

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