YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In front of a packed court room, Victor Daprile walked up to Judge John Durkin, shook his hand and received his certificate.
The 30-year-old recovering addict graduated from Mahoning County Common Pleas Drug Court on Wednesday, along with six other graduates.
Daprile said he is grateful for the program that he said was a life saver.
“It showed me how to live one day at a time. That one day at a time turned into 428 days in this program,” he said.
Judge Durkin said Daprile is achieved high honors at his completion of Drug Court.
“Through his participation in the program, not only has he never had a dirty urine, but he’s never had any type of sanction,” he said. “So, he’s never missed a group. He’s never missed treatment. He never missed court.”
WKBN has been following Daprile’s story since May. Then, he was 13 months sober and in long-term treatment after his arrest for a robbery he committed to support his addiction to prescription medications.
Daprile has worked hard to get to graduation day, thanks, in part, to his family.
Daprile’s father, Victor, said the support system in place was a major factor in his son getting clean.
“Judge Durkin and his team are just a fabulous group of people that helped him find his way,” he said.
His son was held accountable for his actions — attending 260 meetings, establishing a sponsor and checking in on a daily and weekly basis. Judge Durkin said the results show that the program works.
“To see the end results, to see these people have an opportunity at life, to see them live, to see them reunited with family members, to see them have hope again makes it all worth while,” he said.
Daprile said he has noticed the changes since entering Drug Court.
“You know, my family, they always were there, but my relationship with them today is completely different,” he said. “You can see how many people are here today. I mean, it’s the best feeling in the world having your family and support system here.”
“There has been bridges built with the family again. The family is very supportive of him. I think you saw that here today and we pray that he can continue that everyday,” his father added.
As part of the program, each graduated is presented with a certificate of completion, and their felony charges are dismissed.
Judge Durkin said there are about 50 to 60 people enrolled in felony drug court at a time. He said the average time spent in the program is 15 months, and the program’s graduate rate is 50 percent.