Howard County District Court to Honor Drug Court Graduates
(Ellicott City, Md. – December 13, 2006) The seven newest graduates of the Howard County District Court’s DUI/Drug Treatment Court program will be honored at a special graduation ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 20, in Courtroom 5 of the District Court Multiservice Building, 3451 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City. The graduates – from the drug treatment court program and from the Driving Under the Influence program – are the fourth group to graduate from the Howard County program.
“Each of these individuals has not only reached a milestone in their recovery, but in their lives,” said Howard County District Judge Neil Edward Axel. “All of these graduates have dealt with serious alcohol and drug addictions, and that’s never easy. They have also worked through a very rigorous program and have done so successfully.”
Newly sworn County Executive Ken Ulman and a drug treatment court graduate will be the featured speakers at the ceremony.
Howard County’s program provides intensive treatment, supervision, and comprehensive judicial monitoring to habitual offenders whose crimes are addiction driven. The program is a collaboration among the Maryland Judiciary, the Division of Parole and Probation, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Public Defender, the county police department, and substance abuse treatment providers. 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.
Howard County’s drug court began in June 2004. The DUI program was added in January 2005 after the Judiciary received a $166,700 grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office to establish pilots for repeat drug and/or alcohol traffic offenders in the District Court in Anne Arundel, Harford, and Howard counties.
With this fourth group of graduates, there are now 18 graduates of Howard County’s program. Maryland’s drug treatment courts began in 1994, and there are now 33 drug treatment courts throughout the state with more planned.
Members of the media are invited to attend the Howard County drug treatment court graduation. The use of 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 18 if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.