Assessing the Problem
The Cecil County community has seen an influx of crime much like the
rest of the nation. The Circuit Court for Cecil County is plagued by
an increase in drug and drug related cases, including those who violate
their probation on drug offenses. Those offenders placed on probation
frequently fail to successfully address their addictions and are violated
as a result. Of all offenders in the U.S. criminal justice system, 80%
of them report having substance abuse problems. Criminal justice agencies,
including the various law enforcement departments, the Office of the State’s
Attorney, the Division of Parole and Probation and the Courts are being
overwhelmed by the weight of increasing caseloads. Prisons are inundated,
reducing the likelihood that even repeat drug offenders will serve significant
prison sentences. Additionally, most inmates are not receiving substance
abuse treatment while incarcerated. Those offenders who are placed on
probation for the crimes, in lieu of incarceration, do not typically complete
their court-ordered treatment, some never even report for an intake.
The lack of meaningful interventions all but ensures that these individuals
will revert to familiar criminal patterns upon release to society. The
vast majority of this population, in addition to not completing adequate
treatment, is unemployed, lack education and have long histories within
the criminal justice system.
The Cecil County Adult Drug Treatment Court (ADTC) was born in response
to this frustration and in an effort to reduce the cycle of repeat prosecutions
for drug related crimes. Participants in the ADTC program are post plea
candidates who meet the stipulated criteria and who are willing and wanting
to overcome their addiction and increase their chances of changing their
path to one that that is more productive, beneficial and leads to a to
a better lifestyle overall. ADTC is a coalition of agencies providing
intensive treatment and probationary supervision along with comprehensive
judicial monitoring to offenders who have committed crimes as a result
of their addiction. In addition, ADTC incorporates support services such
as vocational, educational and life skills training to bring meaningful
behavioral and lifestyle changes and to facilitate the integration of
participants into the community.
ADTC provides an alternative to the traditional methods of handling drug-related
criminal behavior. ADTC recognizes that recovery is a process and that
changing addictive behavior requires constant vigilance, motivation, reinforcement
and treatment to prevent relapse and the return to criminal activity.
This multidisciplinary approach provides a comprehensive program to address
the most devastating problem facing our community today: drugs and crime.