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Judge to Address Drug Court Grads on Addiction “Sobriety has be your first priority”

Jun 11, 2013
(Cleveland) – The 43rd Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge David Matia will took place Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Vincent Charity Memorial Center Chapel, located at 2351 East 22nd Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

Contact:  Ed "Flash" Ferenc, Public Information Officer
              Cleveland Municipal Court                   
              216-664-6787   216-857-7420
              ference@cmcoh.org


(Cleveland) – The 43rd Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge David Matia will took place Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Vincent Charity Memorial Center Chapel, located at 2351 East 22nd Street in Cleveland, Ohio.


A total of 46 people graduated, 26 from the county program and 20 with the city, which brings the total number of people who successfully completed the program to 1,341 since it began 15 years ago.  Of that number, almost 80% remain sober and drug-free.

The keynote speaker was Cleveland Municipal Judge Marilyn B. Cassidy.

“I was a poster child for the sandwich generation, with school-age children that needed a mom and two elderly and ill parents for whom I was their primary resource.  I also struggled in a bad marriage, so I leaned on alcohol,” said Judge Cassidy, who’s been with the Cleveland Municipal Court since 2007.

The turning point came when she attended a party, had too many drinks and decided to drive home.  She was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence.  

“That was November 21, 2001 and that was the day of my last drink.”

Judge Cassidy said she joined Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and attended 90 meetings in 90 days, not because she wanted to, but because she had to. At the time, she worked as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.

“There’s an old saying, take your body and your mind will follow, a message I plan to give to the graduates.  Life can be so overwhelming, but sobriety has to be your first priority.”

Judge Mays is looking forward to hearing her colleague’s personal story.

“I have a lot of respect for her.  This is very difficult for someone in a position like hers.  It just shows you how alcohol and other drugs work as an equal opportunity destroyer.”

The Drug Court Program is a sanction-based year-long program that emphasizes treatment and accountability.  Should a participant fail a drug test, or is otherwise non-compliant, a sanction is imposed.  The Greater Cleveland Drug Court was created in l998 under the direction of the Honorable Larry A. Jones and taken over in 2009 by Judge Mays.  The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court became a partner in the program later that year.

To read more about Judge Cassidy's story, please click here.

VIDEO: Judge Cassidy speaking at Drug Court Graduation. 



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