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Maui and Molokai Celebrate National Drug Court Month 2022

Posted on Jun 16, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports, Uncategorized
Maui Drug Court team members and seven graduates stand together in the courtroom in front of a sign that says, "Maui Drug Court Works," at the 05/19/2022 graduation ceremony.

Maui Drug Court team members join graduates for a celebratory photo at the May 19 graduation ceremony. From left, Maui County Prosecutor Kenton Werk, Maui Police Department Officer Sonnie Waiohu, and Judge Kelsey T. Kawano. Front row: State Public Defender Mariana Lowy-Gerstmar, Judge Adrianne N. Heely, Maui Police Department Sgt. Jan Pontanilla, and Second Circuit Chief Judge Peter T. Cahill.

In observance of National Drug Court Month 2022, the Second Circuit’s Drug Court programs held two graduation events.

The seven members of Maui Drug Court’s 78th graduating class celebrated completion of the intensive program when Judge Kelsey T. Kawano closed their cases on May 19. In a ceremony that followed, the graduates talked about their battles with addiction and gains made through the program. Family and friends cheered and applauded them for their many achievements. The event also featured an alumnus as guest speaker from the 63rd Maui Drug Court graduation of 2018.

The Molokai Drug Court held its 25th graduation ceremony on May 20, at the Molokai District Court in Kaunakakai. Judge Kawano presided remotely from Wailuku as the graduate appeared for her final hearing. She shared her story of change, growth, and recovery and spoke about the support received from family and friends.

The ceremony included a song by a Drug Court graduate. The featured speaker was a 2011 alumnus from the Molokai Drug Court’s fourth graduating class.

Hawaii’s Drug Courts were established to address the specific needs of individuals who enter the justice system because of addiction. Through the intensive 18-month program, participants receive life-saving treatment and the chance to reconnect with family and the community.

Since its inception in August 2000, Maui Drug Court has graduated 694 participants. The Molokai Drug Court has graduated 40 participants since first convening in October 2006.

For more information on the Maui Drug Court, contact the program administrator at 808-442-3850. For information on the Molokai Drug Court, call 808-553-3397.

About National Drug Court Month
National Drug Court Month is an annual celebration of the lives restored by drug court programs. It is coordinated by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), and observed each May by more than 3,000 treatment courts across the United States.