The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia Superior Court Drug Intervention Program, better known as Drug Court, held a graduation and level progression ceremony for residents dealing with substance abuse.  On Aug. 17 six graduates, five males and one female, were commended for completing the four phases needed, according to the Drug Court, to overcome drug and alcohol challenges. Progression certificates were also given to patients who completed a single phase.

District of Columbia Drug Court Graduation.  (Screengrab from on YouTube)

District of Columbia Drug Court Graduation. (Screengrab from on YouTube)

Drug Court is designed as a way for drug addicted defendants who are facing non-violent misdemeanor and felonies to get treatment.

“This program is not just about you,” said Gregory E. Jackson, the presiding judge.”It’s about you and everybody around you. It’s about you and the entire community. What each of you has to realize is am I part of the problem or part of the solution?”

Sharon Cauley, pretrial services officer, officiated the program. Horace Anding, supervisor at the ReEntry and Sanctions Center, was the guest speaker. Anding, once a drug addict himself, said he has been clean for 26 years.

“There’s responsibility and accountability for your actions to start a firm foundation while having a support system that will take your life on another level,” said Anding. “And doing this process, no matter what happens, you’re not drinking, drugging, you’re not bugging, thugging, tripping, dipping, or flipping.  . . . You don’t want to go through the pain of life of addiction.”

Family and friends filled the courtroom in support of their loved one’s accomplishments.

Graduate Kevin Johnson’s mother told the AFRO that she was proud of her son’s achievement. “I know God is watching and to the graduates I say, ‘Congratulations,’” she said. To the program’s staff she added, “I just want to say thank you, thank you so much for all the work you do.”