State’s newest drug treatment court celebrates first graduations
Caroline County Circuit Court marked a milestone this spring when the first two graduates completed its adult drug treatment court. Caroline County’s program is the newest drug court in Maryland, and began in November 2011. To graduate, participants must be in the program at least 270 days. The first two graduates had each been taking part for 11 months.
“This program is difficult, and it is not taken on lightly,” said Caroline County Circuit Judge Karen A. Murphy, who presides over the adult drug treatment court. “The participants are getting jobs, paying their debt to society, being productive and reuniting with their families, all the while not using drugs,” she said. “Participants are being successful. That’s very exciting.”
Drug treatment court programs combine judicial oversight with intensive treatment and supervision. Maryland’s first drug treatment court began in Baltimore in 1994; there are now 42 drug treatment courts throughout the state.
Gray Barton, executive director of the Judiciary’s Office of Problem-Solving Courts, spoke at the first graduation in February 2013. The second graduation was held in April 2013 with Sara Visintainer, chief of staff for Caroline County, as the guest speaker.