The slate has been wiped clean for four people who recently graduated from the Drug Rehabilitation Court.
They were recognised 25 September at a ceremony at the Courts Office.
The clients were recognised for their commitment to overcoming the ravages of a life on drugs and once again becoming productive citizens.
It was the eighth graduation of the Court, which has seen 70 individuals pass through the programme since its inception in 2007. Graduations are held in March and September of each year. As part of Wednesday’s proceedings, the graduates were reminded of the charges that brought them before the court. Chief Magistrate Nova Hall told them that in relation to those charges, the court would record no conviction against them and they were absolutely discharged. Mrs. Hall outlined that in certain instances there are also conditional discharges, which allows the Drug Rehabilitation Court to monitor some individuals. She expressed pleasure that there were no such instances at Wednesday’s graduation.
The graduates were given plaques and certificates to commemorate their achievements, as well as new Blackberry phones from Digicel.
Former DRC graduate Sidney Parchment addressed the graduates, telling them that his turning point came after being remanded by then-Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale.
“I couldn’t be more happy that she did that. The residential treatment that was also prescribed was life changing,” he said. Mr. Parchment added that he spent 10 months at the Caribbean Haven facility and has now been sober for three years. He now drives a bus and is a gainfully employed, productive member of society.
He told the graduates to be mindful of the stigmas attached to drug abuse and realise that they will have to work a little harder than most in the workplace to prove themselves worthy.
“Starve your fears and triggers and feed your dreams,” exclaimed Mr. Parchment.
Graduates also offered words of appreciation for what the programme has assisted them in accomplishing.