Anne Arundel District Court to Celebrate Drug Court Graduates
(Annapolis, MD — May 4, 2007) The front lawn of the Anne Arundel County District Court will become the site for an ice cream social on Thursday, May 10, when 10 drug treatment court participants will celebrate their graduation with their families and friends The ice cream social will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a graduation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the District Court Building, 251 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis. A former graduate of the drug treatment court, Brian Trimble, will be the guest speaker.
“We want graduates to remember graduation and we’ll do whatever it takes to make it memorable; including an ice cream social,” said Judge James Dryden, who presides over the drug court. “Graduation from drug court is a significant event for the graduate and the graduate’s family and other supporters. It should be, and is, serious but not somber. We try to make it fun, too.”
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.
More than 600 people have graduated from the Anne Arundel County program since it began 10 years ago. Maryland’s first drug treatment court began in Baltimore in 1994, and there are now 36 drug treatment courts throughout the state with more planned.
Members of the media are invited to attend the graduation, but the use of cameras must be approved in advance. Please contact Janet Ward, drug and DUI treatment court coordinator, at (410) 260-3744, by May 9 if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.