New Graduates to Celebrate at Baltimore City Drug Court Graduation
(BALTIMORE, MD – December 11, 2006) The Circuit Court for Baltimore City will host a ceremony for more than 35 new graduates of the court's drug treatment court program at 9 a.m. Friday, December 15, in Room 234 of Courthouse East, 111 N. Calvert St. The ceremony marks an important milestone for the graduates, who have completed the program and are now drug-free. Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams will be the guest speaker at the graduation.
"This is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and dedication of these graduates, as well as the efforts of government agencies, private sector organizations, and individuals, who are working together to reduce addiction-driven crime and drug usage," said Baltimore City Circuit Judge Sylvester B. Cox, Jr., who oversees the drug treatment court. "Our neighborhoods and our state are made safer through the perseverance and hard work of everyone involved in our drug treatment court."
Drug treatment court programs provide treatment, supervision, and judicial monitoring to habitual offenders whose crimes are addiction-driven. Participants take part in vocational, educational, and life skills training to address issues that contribute to their drug abuse and criminal behavior. Nationally, drug treatment 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.
The drug treatment court program of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City is a collaboration of the Maryland Judiciary, the Division of Parole and Probation, the State's Attorney's Office, the Office of the Public Defender, the Baltimore City Police Department, the Baltimore City Sheriff's Office, and substance abuse treatment providers. More than 1,500 defendants have graduated from Baltimore drug treatment courts since they began in 1994. Baltimore was the site of Maryland's first drug treatment court, and 12 years later, there are 33 drug treatment courts throughout the state, and several more are planned.
Members of the media are invited to attend the Baltimore City Circuit Court Drug Treatment Court graduation. No video cameras are permitted. The use of still cameras must be approved in advance, and all persons being photographed must give their consent to be photographed. Please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488 by December 13 if you would like to bring a still camera or for more information.