In observance of National Treatment Court Month, the Judiciary of Guam celebrated the achievements of its graduates from the Adult Drug Court and the Guam Adult Reentry Court programs last Thursday.

The ceremonies acknowledged the journey these individuals undertook to successfully complete their treatment and prepare for reintegration into society.

Twelve ADC I and II graduates were honored in a morning ceremony held in Judge Maria T. Cenzon’s courtroom. Chief Justice Robert J. Torres and Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero, as well as attorneys, treatment providers, and judiciary staff, were also in attendance.

The ADC utilizes evidence-based treatment, drug and alcohol testing, and judicial monitoring to encourage personal accountability, support successful recovery, and give justice-involved individuals a second chance at life.

Judge Tolentino presides over Adult Drug Court I while Judge Cenzon presides over Adult Drug Court II.

Cenzon said, “This ceremony is a reminder that you can make a difference. The treatment team wants you to know that we are here for you. We want you to let us help you.”

“We know that the path that led you here has been challenging. This program is strict, rigorous, and demanding. But that’s why we’re so proud of you. After months of hard work, some serious self-reflection, and the support of those who love you, you did it. You overcame every obstacle and turned your life around.” added Chief Justice Robert J. Torres.

Leon Guerrero spoke about her experience as a nurse and witnessing the challenges of substance withdrawal.

She said, “This is the most meaningful graduation that I have ever been to, and I’ve been to many graduations—and what makes it meaningful is that it’s real.”

Toward the end of the ceremony, Judge Alberto E. Tolentino encouraged the graduates to always remember their court family, emphasizing the importance of staying connected to the community.

Later that afternoon, a second graduation ceremony was also celebrated for the Guam Adult Reentry Court in Judge Vernon P. Perez’s courtroom. The GARC program reduces recidivism and increases public safety by providing the necessary tools and skills for transitioning from incarceration or parole to the community.

Judge Perez presides over the GARC program and he said, “This is an intensive supervision program designed to protect public safety. Your sobriety—that’s the single most important skill to maintain.”

“We are proud of your efforts,” said Presiding Judge Alberto C. Lamorena III. “I hope that you will now be proud to be a contributing member of society.”

National Treatment Court Month is a growing movement to transform the way the justice system responds to substance use and mental health disorders.