St. Louis Drug Court Holds 100th Graduation Ceremony

ST. LOUIS (Nov. 21, 2014) — The St. Louis Drug Court conducted its 100th Graduation Ceremony today at the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown, as 22 participants joined the ranks of 1,718 successful graduates who have completed the program since 1997.

Drug Court Commissioner James Sullivan said, “As our program reaches this milestone, I congratulate each of the graduates for the courage and commitment they have made to breaking the damaging cycle of drug addiction and crime. Drug Court is very demanding, and by successfully completing it, our graduates prove to themselves that they have the personal strength, resources and resolve to turn their lives around. The community benefits, too, by returning these citizens to productive lives without the expense and frequently failed outcomes of imprisonment.”

The St. Louis Drug Court program is designed to divert nonviolent felony offenders who are addicted to drugs and alcohol from the normal criminal justice system. The court provides judicial oversight, intensive supervision and treatment to positively impact the life of the individual while focusing on community safety.

Retired Judge James R. Dowd delivered the graduation address, inspiring those completing the program to share their recovery success with others in the community. Dowd pioneered the treatment court concept and created the drug court program in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, serving as its first judicial officer.

A reception following the ceremony was hosted by the Be There Alumni Association.

Retired Judge James R. Dowd addresses the 100th graduation ceremony of the St. Louis Drug Court. In the background are Drug Court Commissioners Rochelle Woodiest and James Sullivan.
Retired Judge James R. Dowd addresses the 100th graduation ceremony of the St. Louis Drug Court. In the background are Drug Court Commissioners Rochelle Woodiest and James Sullivan.