Drug court advances another class of graduates

First photo: Graduate Jay Domingo raises his hand in celebration Thursday while thanking the people who helped him graduate from the Maui/Molokai Drug Court Program on Thursday afternoon in the 2nd Circuit courtroom of Judge Joseph Cardoza. It was the 60th graduating class for the intensive supervision and treatment program for nonviolent Class B or C felony offenders in Maui County whose criminal activity stems from alcohol or drug use. A total of 1,173 people have been admitted to the program since it started in 2000. Domingo thanked family members and staffers from Drug Court and Aloha House. “Drug Court saved my life,” he said, adding that if his addiction hadn’t already killed him he would have been homeless and making the same destructive decisions. Graduate Walter Graham said that before Drug Court he lived his life paddling upstream. “I made an art out of bad choices,” Graham said. “I leave here with a sound mind and the tools to avoid those bad choices.”

Second photo: Graduate Chelsea Cohen hugs Molokai substance abuse counselor George Aiwohi after Thursday afternoon’s ceremony.

Third photo: Maui Community Correctional Center Warden James Hirano (from left) and Molokai substance abuse counselor George Aiwohi pose Thursday afternoon with graduates of the Maui/Molokai Drug Court Program Jayson Andrews-Ivester, Chelsea Cohen, Gregory Mabrey, Genese Brown, Walter Graham and Isaac Sproat. Not in photo is graduate Jay Domingo.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos