Howard County District Court to Honor Drug Court Graduates
(Ellicott City, Md. – May 15, 2007) Howard County District Court’s DUI/Drug Treatment Court will hold its fifth graduation ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 23, in Courtroom 5 of the District Court Multiservice Building, 3451 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City. The graduation takes place during National Drug Court Month.
“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 our graduates have dealt with serious alcohol and drug addictions, and have worked hard to break the cycle of addiction. Their success has not only improved the quality of their lives, but has also benefited their families, their friends, and the entire community.”
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, the Howard County Health Department, and substance abuse treatment providers. Nationally, drug treatment courts 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 program for DUI – driving under the influence – infractions 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 fifth group of graduates, there are now 27 graduates of Howard County’s drug court. Maryland’s drug treatment courts began 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 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 May 21 if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.