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Terri Charles
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For Immediate Release


Baltimore City District Court Celebrates Newest Drug Treatment Court Graduates


(BALTIMORE – Dec. 9, 2014), One of the oldest drug treatment courts in the United States is getting ready to celebrate its newest group of graduates. On Friday, December 12, Baltimore City State’s Attorney-elect Marilyn Mosby will be the keynote speaker at the Baltimore City District Court drug treatment court graduation. The event will begin at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the Borgerding District Court Building, 5800 Wabash Ave., Baltimore. The media are invited.

Graduates have completed a rigorous program that combines judicial oversight with intensive treatment and supervision. Judge Jamey H. Hueston and Judge Leon R. Cooper will preside as the newest graduates receive certificates and have a chance to address the court, their families, and fellow graduates.

Maryland’s first drug treatment courts began in 1994 in Baltimore City District Court and Circuit Court. Since then, the program has expanded to include more than 40 drug treatment and problem-solving courts throughout the state. The most recent Baltimore City District Court drug treatment court graduation was held in June and included 31 graduates.

This drug court graduation marks Judge Hueston’s last as she hands off the Baltimore City District Court Drug Treatment Court reins after 20 years of devoted effort to help those addicted gain freedom from drugs and restore their lives and dignity.

Judge Hueston is a founder of the Baltimore City District Court Drug Treatment Court, one of the first in the United States, and is the longest serving drug court judge in this country. She is also a founding member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

“I have worked with Judge Jamey Hueston for over a decade and have never met a stronger advocate for treatment and public safety. She has protected our city and the health and welfare of thousands of addicts,” said Greg Warren, regional director, Chesapeake Region, of Gaudenzia and former president and CEO of Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems. “Her most valuable contribution is perhaps how she has fundamentally changed both the Judiciary and treatment providers’ views of each other from wary adversaries to respectful partners in helping addicts embrace recovery. Her work has produced a drop in recidivism and other benefits which has saved Maryland millions of tax payer funding.”

“The citizens of Maryland owe Judge Jamey Hueston our tremendous gratitude for her pioneering efforts to not only bringing drug courts to our state but to also persevere for over twenty years to ensure that they have been systematically developed, soundly evaluated, and continually built on a solid foundation reflecting scientific and other research findings,” said Caroline S. Cooper, research professor and director of the Justice Programs Office, School of Public Affairs, American University. “Although drug courts now operate in every state in the U.S. and in over 20 foreign countries, that was not the case in 1994 when Judge Hueston joined with several other judges, prosecutors and defense counsel from around the country to help form the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and to capture the attention of the U.S. Congress regarding the far greater value of treatment than in incarceration for dealing with the drug epidemic that was gripping our communities – and our families. Thanks to Judge Hueston’s vision and leadership in changing mindsets, we are gradually shifting the paradigm of our justice system in its approach to dealing with numerous nonviolent drug offenders who regularly come before the court. The cost benefit alone of this shift has saved millions of dollars, not to mention lives.”

Ambassador Paul E. Simons said, “Judge Jamey Hueston has been a valuable and consistent partner in our efforts to introduce the drug treatment court model to other countries in the hemisphere.” Simons, who is executive secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), and secretariat for multidimensional security, Organization of American States International, added, “She has played a dynamic role in a series of training activities in the region for judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, policy makers, and other professionals involved in exploring or expanding drug treatment courts. The Organization of American States, through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, is thankful for Judge Hueston's leadership, enthusiasm, and experience. We have been honored to bring various international delegations to her court so they could see with their very own eyes how the model works at its best.”

“Serving 20 years in the Baltimore Drug Court has been a joy and the highlight of my judicial career,” Judge Hueston said. “Its success could not have been possible without the efforts of many, from the participants who worked hard to free themselves from addiction to our dedicated drug court team. As I start a new chapter, I am looking forward to increasing my efforts to establish and assist drug courts throughout the globe.”

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NOTE TO MEDIA: The media are invited to attend. The use of cameras must be approved in advance, and all persons being photographed must give their consent to be photographed. Call the Maryland Judiciary Office of Communications and Public Affairs, 410-260-1488, to attend and to discuss the use of cameras and/or electronic devices.