Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building
361 Rowe Boulevard
|For Immediate Release||CONTACT:||Rita Buettner
(ANNAPOLIS, MD – May 2, 2006) The Maryland Judiciary will celebrate National Drug Court Month during the month of May with a series of events around the state.
Some of the state's established drug court programs will hold graduation ceremonies to celebrate their participants' accomplishments, while other drug courts will invite the community to learn about their program through open houses and other activities.
“We all have a vital part to play to ensure that drug offenders are given the opportunity to break the cycle of drug abuse and criminal activity,” said Gray Barton, executive director of the Drug Treatment Court Commission. “Drug Court Month gives us a chance to recognize not only our drug court participants who turn their lives around, but also the people who work with them to keep them from returning to our courtrooms in the future.”
The first drug court program in Maryland was started in 1994 in Baltimore City. Since then, 27 more drug court programs have been launched, and eight more are in the planning stages.
“These court programs are providing a more effective means to help reduce the adverse impact of repeat drug offenders,” said Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals.
Nationally drug court programs have emerged as a practical, cost-effective alternative to incarceration, and re-arrest rates for drug court graduates are significantly lower than for the general population.
A calendar of events is available at www.courts.state.md.us/dtcc/drugctmonth.html, and media are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.
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