Chelsea Drug Court Holds First In-Person Graduation Ceremony Since Pandemic

Photo: Carl Stevens (WBZ)

CHELSEA, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Chelsea Drug Court held its first in-person graduation ceremony for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday.

Drug courts are specialized courts to help treat people with substance abuse issues, help people in the criminal justice system become productive citizens, and reduce recidivism.

Former graduate Michael Simonetti was on hand at the ceremony, telling WBZ NewsRadio that the drug court gives people suffering from drug addiction the hope to change their lives.

"That’s what they give you. They give you that hope when they see something in you that you don’t see in yourself," Simonetti said.

"Where else can you honor such heroes and be a part of what they’ve done to regain their lives," said Judge Michael Machera, calling it the best day of the year in court.

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo was also honored for his work in the legislature to help battle addiction.

"I did feel we helped," DeLeo said. "But god, the battle still rages on and on and on. And that’s why I think these folks are important."

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@CarlWBZ) reports.

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