Seven to graduate from Drug Court

LIHU‘E — Seven graduates will be honored during the Kaua‘i Drug Court graduation May 25 at the new state courthouse.

Alton Amimoto, Drug Court administrator, said the celebration of the graduates coincides with National Drug Court Commencement Week, which will be celebrated locally between May 22 and May 26.

The national event is part of May being declared Drug Court Month, as Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste issued a proclamation accepted by Amimoto and members of his Drug Court staff.

Drug courts combine judicial accountability and evidence-based treatment to effectively intervene against substance abuse and related crimes, the proclamation states.

Results of more than 100 program evaluations and at least three experimental studies have yielding definite evidence that drug courts increase treatment retention and reduce substance abuse and crime among drug-involved adult offenders.

Additionally, the evaluations and studies have provided evidence that drug courts are effective in reducing substance abuse and crime among drug-involved individuals before the courts.

The drug court movement that started with a dozen original drug courts in 1994 has now blossomed to 1,753 operational drug courts as of December 2005.

This is evidence of the success of the drug courts, say judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, substance-treatment and rehabilitation professionals, law-enforcement officers, community-supervision personnel, and other community and government leaders.

The celebration of Drug Court Month allows recognition for the practitioners and participants who make drug courts work, and the significant contributions that drug courts have made and continue to make in reducing drug usage and crime, the proclamation states.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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