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Addiction Counselor to Address Drug Court Grads: “When a student is ready, a teacher will appear”

Jul 12, 2016
The 52nd Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court, now under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren C. Moore, will take place Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room located on the fourth floor of the Justice Center.
Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer                                   
Cleveland Municipal Court
216 664 6787 / 216 789 2597
ference@cmcoh.org     www.cmcoh.org

(Cleveland) – The 52nd Graduation Ceremony of the Greater Cleveland Drug Court, now under the direction of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren C. Moore, will take place Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cuyahoga County Jury Assembly Room located on the fourth floor of the Justice Center.

A total of 36 people will graduate, which brings the total number of people who successfully completed the program to 1,560 since it began 18 years ago.  Of that number, over 70% remain sober and drug-free.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Donnell Dunaway, a Treatment Counselor at Moore Counseling and Mediation Services in Cleveland.   Mr. Dunaway, an army vet and a member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, is celebrating seven years of sobriety after being addicted to crack cocaine for 11 years.  After a marriage breakup, he hit rock bottom.

“When a student is ready, a teacher will appear,” he said.   

That teacher became his sponsor and now Donnell Dunaway says he is paying a debt to society because someone saved his life and now he needs to save others.

“I do what I have to do and it’s what I love to do,” said Donnell, who frequently quotes the late French author Andre Malraux:  “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act.”

Specialized dockets (like the Greater Cleveland Drug Court) are courts that are dedicated to specific types of offenses or offenders and use a combination of different techniques for holding offenders accountable while also addressing the underlying causes of their behavior. There are more than 150 specialized dockets in Ohio. In 2014, the docket was certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

The Drug Court Program began in the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1998 and has since expanded throughout Cuyahoga County.
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