Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

Celebrating Kauai’s First Veterans Court Graduate

Posted on Jun 14, 2019 in Featured News, News & Reports


Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal Valenciano, District Court Judge Edmund Acoba with Kauai Veterans Treatment Court’s first graduate, 05/17/2019.

From left, Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano, and District Court Judge Edmund D. Acoba honor the Kauai Veterans Treatment Court’s first graduate (center) on his many successes.

Kauai Veterans Court’s first graduate was recognized along with three Kauai Drug Court graduates on Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Fifth Circuit’s Puuhonua Kaulike Building. Chief Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano presented their diplomas and Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald and Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami congratulated the graduates. Orders of dismissal were read by Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar.

The Kauai Veterans Court was established in 2017 to serve veteran offenders struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorders (SUDs). Program specialists work to restore veterans’ health, families and futures, while saving taxpayer dollars. A 2016 study published by the Community Mental Health Journal found that veterans who participate in veterans treatment courts experience significant improvement in housing, relationships and social connection, overall functioning and well-being, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and mental and emotional health.

The Kauai Drug Court provides alternatives to incarceration, alleviates probation caseloads, and helps those struggling with substance abuse change the way they think and behave, while acquiring skills to successfully begin a new life. Since 2003, the program has assisted more than 220 successful graduates.

During National Drug Court Month 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court took the opportunity to thank and recognize its terrific Kauai Veterans Court and Kauai Drug Court staff, program Administrator Martin Steinhaus, Drug Court Substance Abuse Counselor Maile Murray, Probation Officers Ro Kaing, Ikaika Macabeo, Rachel Coyaso and Clerk Jacklynn Lee.

For more information on the Kauai Drug Court or the Kauai Veteran’s Treatment Court, please call (808) 482-2363.

See The Garden Island story:  Getting back on course