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NEWS
February 6, 2007
Participants in the Harford County juvenile drug court had 36 percent fewer subsequent arrests than nonparticipants, and 59 percent fewer days on probation or parole, according to an independent study commissioned by the state court system. The study, conducted by NPC Research of Portland, Ore., also found that the average cost to the criminal justice system as measured by rearrests, incarcerations, and probation was 60 percent less for participants in the year following their involvement in drug court.
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NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2013
He's come out on top in six contested elections as a Democrat in an increasingly conservative county, and has withstood criticism that he's both too soft and too tough, appeased minorities and disappointed minorities, said too little and said too much. He's been on the job a quarter-century, long enough to get his typewriter replaced by a computer with a flat-screen monitor, see defendants' locations pinpointed by cellphone towers and have DNA emerge as a key tool in criminal cases.
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NEWS
By Richard O'Mara and Richard O'Mara,Sun Staff Writer | November 13, 1994
A middle-aged man steps up in the District Court in Northwest Baltimore and ignites a vast smile on the judge's face. She is glad to see him."Good afternoon," says the judge, examining his file. "I see you are doing great. We owe you our applause."Everyone in the court starts clapping -- clerks, lawyers, other waiting defendants -- in celebration of Joseph Paige, who is then asked by the judge to say a few words."I was a heroin addict for over 27 years," he tells the 30 or so people on the benches.
NEWS
By Jamey Hueston | May 4, 2011
As the judge in charge of the Baltimore City District Court Drug Court for the past 17 years, and the current chairperson of the state's Judicial Conference Commission on Problem Solving Courts, I am disturbed by recent articles in this paper and elsewhere attacking drug courts as ineffective, essentially calling for drug use to be treated outside of the criminal justice system, and incorrectly asserting that drug courts are most effective for individuals...
NEWS
By Norris P. West and Norris P. West,Staff Writer | November 6, 1992
Imagine a courtroom in which every defendant is a drug addict who has committed a non-violent crime to support a habit. None will get jail time -- unless the addict strays from the drug treatment the judge will order.This is a courtroom of second chances. It's "drug court."Right now, drug court is only a concept in Baltimore. But officials hope to make it a reality here and point to the success of innovative drug courts in Miami and Chicago. Those cities have diverted non-violent offenders from jail by getting treatment for them, instead.
NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer | March 30, 1994
Baltimore's "drug court" is now in session, steering junkies driven to petty crime away from jail and toward counselors who will treat their habits, teach them to read and even help them find a job.The Drug Treatment Court, scheduled to be unveiled at a news conference today after a monthlong phase-in with a small docket of defendants, is a 1990s-style criminal justice program touted by everyone from President Clinton to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno...
NEWS
By JULIE BYKOWICZ and JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER | February 19, 2006
The two met at a dinner in Jerusalem, of all places, but Ellen M. Heller wasn't about to let an opportunity pass her by. There was Robert Carmona, president of an innovative Harlem, N.Y.-based job training program called Strive. Like Heller, he had traveled to Jerusalem to help the Israeli government set up an employment initiative. "I said to him, `You know, I have another hat that I wear,'" Heller said. Actually, it's a robe. Although she retired in 2003 after 17 years as a Baltimore circuit judge, Heller continues to preside over the felony drug court that she developed.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | September 28, 2006
Icalled the other day for an expanded attack on the drug addiction that fuels the drug trade that fuels the violence that fuels the decline - or at least delays the progress - of the quality of life in Baltimore. It's a burden on the entire metropolitan area, on the whole state. Drug addiction has been placed at the root of 80 percent of crime. It's the reason our prisons are filled. It's why we have neighborhood crime patrols, why our courts are crazy-busy. In many cases, drug addiction is at the root of family dysfunction, and family dysfunction - compounded by poverty, ignorance, unemployment - is at the root of the cycle of failure of children and schools.
NEWS
By Jarrett Carter and Jarrett Carter,SUN STAFF | March 5, 2003
Baltimore County has established a juvenile drug court, a program designed to rehabilitate young offenders. The court will closely monitor offenders while providing drug treatment, educational assistance and counseling, said County Executive James T. Smith Jr. "This has been a priority for the county because it is so significant and so important," said Smith, who announced the initiative at a news conference in Towson yesterday. "The human benefit of the program is just tremendous." The program is the first in the county.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | October 31, 2001
Howard County, with its socieconomically diverse population and location between two major cities, is an ideal place for a drug court, several residents told members of the Howard County Drug Treatment Task Force at a public meeting yesterday evening. "Many parents here cover up their children's drug problems because of their high socioeconomic status," Karen Speights-Diggs, a Columbia resident, said during the meeting. "They say, `It's only marijuana' or `It's only one time' when their kids get in trouble.
NEWS
April 10, 2011
Re: "Drug courts are not the answer" (op-ed, April 7). The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Justice Policy Institute (JPI) advocate for the legalization of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamines and crack cocaine. It is no surprise, then, that they attack drug courts and ignore the mountain of scientific evidence that proves their efficacy. Their strategy is simple: tear down drug courts in the eyes of the public with the false message that nothing works. This could not be further from the truth.
NEWS
By Margaret Dooley-Sammuli and Nastassia Walsh | April 6, 2011
Drug addiction is a health problem. So why are U.S. drug policies still seeking solutions within the criminal justice system? The use of drug courts — programs that seek to reduce drug use through mandated drug treatment and close judicial oversight — has grown drastically over the last 20 years thanks to moving success stories and enthusiastic proponents within the criminal justice system. In Maryland, the Drug Treatment Court Commission was established in 1993, and Baltimore City's first drug treatment court started in 1994.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | July 21, 2009
Barack Obama's newly appointed drug czar is looking to Baltimore to help set the nation's strategy, focusing on the city's 15-year-old drug treatment court, which emphasizes therapy over incarceration. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, met with legislators and a drug court judge Monday to discuss the program and collaborative efforts between city, state and federal agencies. It was Kerlikowske's third visit to the city since his May swearing-in. Released prisoners "almost invariably go back to the neighborhood from whence they came," he said after the briefing during a news conference held in the lobby of the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com | January 4, 2009
Purnell Parker remembers when his drug addiction was so bad that he ate nothing but peanut brittle for an entire summer because he was broke. But for more than a year, Parker has not used drugs. The 38-year-old Baltimore man wears a medallion that serves as a symbol of his recovery and to remind him of his new life - along with a seemingly perpetual smile. And after getting the upper hand on his dependency, he says, he is resolved to help others facing the same struggle. "When I was using, if you couldn't tell me where the next best corner was, I didn't have [anything]
NEWS
November 7, 2008
In the waning months of the Bush administration, the Food and Drug Administration is asking the courts to extend the Republican Party's anti-regulatory zealotry well beyond the president's last day in office. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether a woman who lost an arm after being improperly injected with a drug could sue the company that manufactured it, and the administration was on exactly the wrong side of the issue. The case involved musician Diana Levine, who was given the anti-nausea drug Phenergan, made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, after she visited a Vermont clinic in 2000 seeking relief from a migraine.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,Sun reporter | April 26, 2008
The stabbing of a Howard County 17-year-old by two teens outside The Mall in Columbia in January was the culmination of a drug deal gone bad, an investigator said yesterday. New details of the incident emerged at a hearing in Howard County Circuit Court, during which a judge denied a request that the 16-year-old defendant be tried as a juvenile. Cordero Dante Taylor was charged as an adult in the Jan. 10 stabbing of Julian Lichtenstein, who was 17 at the time of the incident. Taylor, of Forestville in Prince George's County, and the other suspect, Bernardo Leconte, 18, of Columbia, were charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon and reckless endangerment.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | February 25, 2004
Drug courts successfully treat drug users, reduce criminal recidivism and save money, according to studies of two Maryland drug courts released yesterday. The studies, by Oregon-based NPC Research, looked at drug courts in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, two of the longest-established of Maryland's 11 drug courts. The studies were released as the administration of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. looks to divert more drug users into treatment instead of jail, and as Maryland's judiciary is planning to add 10 more around the state.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | March 5, 2003
A year after it began, Anne Arundel County's juvenile drug court presented its first three graduates this week as proof that the program is working. The court's first graduation, held Monday in Circuit Court, featured little of the pomp and circumstance of a more traditional ceremony, but its three young participants beamed as if they were being handed college diplomas. Patrick Dixon, 18, stood up to thank the court before Judge Pamela L. North stepped off the bench to shake his hand.
NEWS
March 9, 2008
Crime and drugs go hand-in-hand in Baltimore, and both problems are exacerbated by the inability of some city judges to properly evaluate a defendant's drug problem and the lack of sufficient treatment options, particularly for those who commit crimes to support their habit. That reality is reinforced by local judges who vented their frustration about how the criminal justice system handles low-level, nonviolent drug offenders in a new study by a Washington-based think tank. Fixing the problem could save lives.
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