Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court Honors Graduates
(Baltimore, MD — October 26, 2007) Spring may be the traditional time for graduation ceremonies, but for approximately 35 former drug users, graduation will be in November, in court. The Baltimore City District Court drug treatment court will honor its latest “class” of graduates on Friday, November 2, at 9 a.m., in the Borgerding Courthouse, 5800 Wabash Avenue. The ceremony will be held in Courtroom 2.
Secretary Gary D. Maynard of the Division of Parole and Probation will address the graduates, who recently have completed the drug treatment program and are now drug-free.
"Drug treatment court is the most worthwhile thing I have done in a long time," said Judge John R. Hargrove, Jr., who has twice extended his stay to preside over the Baltimore City District Court drug treatment court. "I am graduating a lot of people instead of sending people to jail. Treating people is a difficult task; however, I like the challenge of drug court because sending people to jail does not solve anything."
Baltimore City’s program provides intensive treatment, supervision, and comprehensive judicial monitoring to habitual offenders whose crimes are addiction driven. It incorporates varying levels of treatment as well as vocational, educational, and life-skills training, and other services to address issues that contribute to drug abuse and criminal behavior. The program is a collaboration between the Maryland Judiciary, the Division of Parole and Probation, the State’s Attorney Office, the Office of the Public Defender, 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.
Since Baltimore City’s drug treatment court was started in 1994, 39 treatment courts have opened throughout the state and more are planned. “Baltimore City was the first drug treatment court in the state, and it has been the cornerstone in the drug court movement,” said Gray Barton, executive director of the Office of Problem Solving Courts.
(Editor’s Note: Members of the media are invited to attend. Please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488 in advance if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.)