Courts Offer a “Day in the Life” of Their Problem-Solving Courts
Last fall, several Maryland courts invited state and local elected officials, as well as business and community leaders, to see a problem-solving court in action and discuss the program’s role in the community.
Problem-solving courts respond to the underlying problems that bring certain people into court—drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, and/or family or personal issues. These rigorous treatment court programs combines ongoing judicial oversight with intensive treatment and supervision. The program identifies appropriate persons and places them under ongoing judicial monitoring, drug and/or alcohol testing, and community supervision, in combination with long-term treatment services. Participation is voluntary.
Maryland has 40 problem-solving courts, most of them dealing with drug or alcohol problems. National research shows drug courts are successful and cost effective for dealing with drug-addicted offenders in the criminal justice system.
The courts that held open houses to provide an insider’s view of their problem-solving courts included:
- Baltimore City District Court’s adult drug treatment court, with Judge Jamey H. Hueston
- Carroll County Circuit Court’s adult drug treatment court, with Judge Michael M. Galloway, Judge Barry Hughes and Judge Thomas F. Stansfield
- Cecil County Circuit Court’s adult drug treatment court, with Judge Judge Keith A. Baynes and Judge V. Michael Whelan
- Charles County Circuit Court’s juvenile drug court and family recovery court, with Judge Helen I. Harrington and Master Douglas C. Cooley
- Howard County District Court’s drug/DUI treatment court, with Judge Neil E. Axel and Bobbie Fine, drug/DUI treatment Court coordinator
- Frederick County Circuit Court’s drug treatment court, with Judge G. Edward Dwyer, Jr., Judge Julie Stevenson Solt and Paul Wolford, drug court coordinator
- Montgomery County Circuit Court’s adult drug treatment court, with Judge Nelson W. Rupp, Jr., and Judge Joseph M. Quirk
- Prince George’s County Circuit Court and Prince George’s County District Court, with Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Judge Thomas J. Love, Judge Nicholas E. Rattal, Judge Patrice E. Lewis, Judge Herman C. Dawson, Judge Hassan Ali El-Amin, and Master Althea R. Stewart Jones
- Talbot County Circuit Court, with Judge Broughton M. Earnest and Julian Markham, problem-solving court coordinator
- Wicomico County Circuit Court, with Judge Kathleen L. Beckstead, Judge W. Newton Jackson, III, Judge Leah J. Seaton, and Master Karen Dean