Anne Arundel Juvenile Drug Court Wins National Photography,
(Annapolis, MD — June 21, 2005) The Anne Arundel County Juvenile
Drug Court won five awards for its participants’ photography
and writing from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
The association announced the awards June 11 at a conference in Orlando,
Fla., where artwork, photography, and writing were on display from
juvenile drug courts around the country.
The Anne Arundel participants won five of the nine awards given at
the conference’s juvenile art exhibition, “Gallery of
Expressions.” Paula T. won awards for her photography and writing.
Zac F. won an award for photography, and Raymond “JR”
H. and Jeremy S. won awards for their writing. (For confidentiality
reasons, the teens are identified only by first name and last initial.)
Since the fall of 2003, Anne Arundel County Juvenile Drug Court has
been working with VisionWorkshops to give court participants an outlet
through photography and writing. Through “Insights: The Identity
Project,” the teens create personal, reflective photos and essays,
and at the end of the year, their work is part of an exhibit in the
“It gives the kids a lot of confidence because they see their
work up there, and they can look at each other’s work and see
that people their age are dealing with similar issues. It’s
also a great vehicle for parents to see the unspoken feelings that
they didn’t know about,” said Anne Arundel Circuit Court
Judge Pamela North. “Plus I think the icing on the cake is that
the kids learn a lot about photography. A lot of them are very artistic.”
The exhibit will be on display from July 8 through August 12 in the
Chaney Gallery at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, located
at 801 Chase St. in Annapolis.
“Adolescence is a tough time, and a big part of it is we’re
trying to have a better sense of self,” said John Fullmer, Juvenile
Drug Court coordinator for Anne Arundel County. The photography and
writing becomes expressive therapy for the teens, he said. “By
telling your story, you define a better sense of self.”
In the exhibit, the teens write about themselves, reflecting on past
experiences – from the death of a parent to drug and alcohol
abuse – along with their present frustrations and accomplishments,
and their future goals.
“Snowballing is a big problem that will hit fast and hard,”
wrote Jeremy S. “What you think is fun and a great new experience
or a look at life through a window of giggles and candy wrappers turns
to a frantic search for that feeling you think will fix everything
and bring happiness even if it’s only for an hour or two.”
Since the state’s first drug treatment court was established
in Baltimore City in 1994, 22 other drug treatment courts have been
formed in Maryland. Twelve more are in the planning stages around
the state. Maryland has 10 juvenile drug courts established and five
more in the planning stages.
Drug treatment courts incorporate varying levels of treatment as well
as vocational, educational, and life skills training and other services
to address issues that contribute to drug abuse and criminal behavior.
Please contact the Court Information Office at 410/260-1488 for more
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