Don’t want to mess up do at graduation

First photo: Maui Community Correctional Center Warden James Hirano tries to figure out how to place a lei over the spiky Mohawk hairstyle of Maui Drug Court graduate Matthew Stone during graduation ceremonies in Hoapili Hale’s Courtroom No. 3 Thursday afternoon in Wailuku. Stone later recited a trio of heartfelt Hawaiian chants in honor of another Drug Court participant who died recently. The 61st Maui/Molokai Drug Court class featured 17 graduates.

Second photo: While describing the many ways the Drug Court program changed his life for the better, Gerald Nakano adds humor to his short speech. “I went from calling my pipe my girlfriend to having a real-life girlfriend,” he said. Like many graduates he echoed the sentiments of a “Maui Drug Court Works” sign hanging in the courtroom. “It not only rebuilt my life, it rebuilt me.”

Third photo: Maui Drug Court graduates pose with 2nd Circuit Court Judges Joseph Cardoza, Rhonda Loo and Richard Bissen as well as Warden James Hirano.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos