23rd Drug Court Graduation Ceremony Held in Prince George

23rd Drug Court Graduation Ceremony Held in Prince George

For immediate release:
April 26, 2023

For additional information, contact:
Jackie Lipford, Public Information Officer

23rd Drug Court Graduation Ceremony Held in Prince George County

Judge Tomko, Susan Fierro, Frank Rakowski
(Pictured from left to right: Commonwealth's Attorney Susan Fierro, Frank Rakowski,
Honorable William Edward Tomko, III)

Prince George, VA - On April 17, Frank Rakowski looked dapper in a black pinstripe suit as he stood proudly in front of the Honorable William Edward Tomko, III, Drug Court Coordinator Yolanda Hines, Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Fierro, members of the Drug Court team, family, and friends. A smile spread as he accepted a Drug Court Program Certificate of Completion. Finishing the 15-month minimum program was a significant accomplishment for Rakowski. It “gave me a chance to improve where I am at and my future,” said Mr. Rakowski.

The Drug Court Program was established as a collaborative effort between Prince George County, Surry County, the City of Hopewell, and RCJA in 2002. The voluntary program was designed as an alternative sanction to jail or prison time for non-violent criminal offenses committed by addicted offenders. It combines the power of intensive judicial supervision with comprehensive substance abuse treatment and case management to assist offenders in achieving recovery.

The program provides recovery support for drug and alcohol addictions, offers opportunities for individuals to give back to the community they adversely affected, helps repair burned bridges with family and loved ones, and assists participants in becoming productive members of society. Drug courts have proven an effective criminal justice intervention for people with substance use disorders. “By acknowledging that addiction is an enduring and recurring disorder, our partner organizations work together to provide individuals with the tools and support necessary to make a positive change in their lives and community,” stated Denise Waff, Director of Riverside Criminal Justice Agency.

As the ceremony ended, a past graduate congratulated Mr. Rakowski on his certificate, underscoring the program’s long-term success and impact.