Baltimore City Joint Celebration Marks 15th Anniversary of Maryland’s Drug Courts
(BALTIMORE — May 5, 2008) The Baltimore City Circuit and District Court adult drug treatment courts will hold a special joint graduation celebration to mark the 15th anniversary of drug courts in Maryland. Approximately 100 people will celebrate their successful completion of drug treatment court on Friday, May 8, at 9 a.m., in Courtroom 400 of the Mitchell Courthouse, 100 Calvert Street, Baltimore.
Gov. Martin O’Malley will be the keynote speaker. Mayor Sheila Dixon and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld, III, are expected to attend the celebration, the theme of which is “Baltimore City Drug Courts: 15 Years of Restoring Lives, Reuniting Families, and Community Partnerships.”
Maryland was an early proponent of drug courts, which were introduced in Miami’s court system in the early 1980s. Maryland’s first drug treatment court began in Baltimore in 1984, and the program has expanded to include more than 40 drug treatment courts throughout the state.
“Drug treatment court has changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people in Baltimore,” said Circuit Judge Sylvester B. Cox, Jr., who is the judge-in-charge for the Baltimore City Circuit Court adult drug treatment courts. “For the participants, the objective is to rehabilitate long lasting addictive behavior, so that the offender may return to his or her family as a contributing, productive and sober community member. The graduates are no longer a part of the problem; they are a part of the solution.”
“Successful graduates have gotten to this point because of their own hard work and dedication, backed by the support and the efforts of a coordinated team that includes service providers, probation agents, social workers and court personnel,” said District Judge Ronald Alan Karasic, who presides over the city’s District Court program. The judge-in-charge for District Court drug treatment court in Baltimore is District Judge Jamey H. Hueston, who is the state’s longest sitting drug treatment court judge.
(Editor’s Note: Members of the media are invited to attend. Contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at (410) 260-1488 in advance if you want to attend. Cameras and audio recording equipment will be allowed during the graduation with advance notification.)