Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
|For Immediate Release||CONTACT:||Rita Buettner
(ANNAPOLIS, Md. — February 22, 2005) Juveniles with substance abuse problems who participate in a Maryland drug treatment court program are less likely to continue using drugs, commit crimes, or need to be placed in an expensive residential treatment facility compared to those who go through the traditional judicial process, according to an interim report prepared by Portland, Ore.-based NPC Research. The complete report and analysis will be available later this year.
“This report validates everything drug court professionals already know,” said Gray Barton, executive director of the Drug Treatment Court Commission of Maryland. “Drug treatment courts work, are cost-effective, and produce better overall outcomes than the traditional business-as-usual approach to dealing with juvenile substance abuse.”
The report, which examined the records of 153 juvenile drug court participants between 2001 and 2004, found that the crime rate among those studied decreased by 71 percent in the year after being in the program. Additionally, the average cost per day for a juvenile drug court participant is $48.96, compared to $226.93 for a treatment center, the next alternative for these youth.
Drug courts provide intensive treatment, supervision, and comprehensive judicial monitoring to habitual offenders whose crimes are addiction driven. Additionally, juvenile drug treatment courts take the added steps of ensuring that a participant’s family and area schools are involved extensively throughout the treatment process.
Juvenile drug treatment courts are a collaboration among the Maryland Judiciary, Department of Juvenile Services, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Public Defender, area police departments, schools, and substance abuse providers. Drug courts incorporate varying levels of treatment as well as vocational, educational, and life skills training. They also offer other services to address issues that contribute to drug abuse and criminal behavior.
There are currently 27 drug courts in Maryland, including juvenile drug courts in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Dorchester, Harford, Prince George’s, Montgomery, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Worcester counties.
A full copy of the interim report can be found at the Drug Treatment Court Commission of Maryland’s Web site at www.courts.state.md.us/dtcc/docs/MD_juvenile_drug_court_interim_report_final_2-9-06.pdf. For more information, please call the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.
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