Howard County District Court to Honor Drug Court Graduates
(Ellicott City, MD — December 18, 2007) Howard County District Court’s driving-under-the-influence (DUI)/Drug Treatment Court will hold its sixth graduation ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 19. Six graduates will be honored at a ceremony in Courtroom 5 of the District Court Multiservice Building, 3451 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City.
The graduates will hear from Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, and County Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty. One of the graduates will also speak during the event. There will be a presentation of proclamations from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and the Howard County Council. A reception, sponsored by the law firm of Shapiro and Mack, P.A., will follow.
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 infractions was added in January 2005. With this sixth group of graduates, there are now 33 graduates of Howard County’s drug court. Maryland’s drug treatment courts began in 1994, and there are now 39 drug treatment courts throughout the state with more planned.
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(Editor’s Note: Members of the media are invited to attend the Howard County DUI/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 if you would like to bring a camera or for more information.)