The Drug Treatment Court Commission was established in October, 2003 pursuant to the order of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals. The Commission is chaired by the Honorable Jamey H. Weitzman and co-chaired by the Honorable Thomas Noel.
The Drug Treatment Court Commission provides support to jurisdictions planning, implementing and operating a drug court. This initiative supports and encourages a collaborative multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach to reducing drug-related crime.
Traditional Court vs. Drug Court
- Individuals representing entities within the criminal justice system to achieve the goal
- Goal = “Legal Justice”
- Court has limited role in supervision of defendant
- Treatment programs of variable lengths and intensity
- Relapse = New crime or violation of probation = Enhanced sentence
- Court team working together to achieve the goal
- Non adversarial
- Goal = Restore defendant as a productive, non-criminal member of society
- Court plays integral role in monitoring defendant’s progress in treatment
- Individualized, but intensive and structured, treatment programs
- Graduated sanctions imposed in response to noncompliance with drug court program
Perhaps the most unique and important characteristics of drug court programs is the level of cooperative relationships formed among the drug court team members. Collaboration begins during the early planning stage and continues throughout the operations of drug court. All major decision points, from screening criteria and eligibility requirements to termination an completion of the program, result from collaborative agreements among drug court team members. The court, through the designated drug court judge, provides the overall leadership of the team and represents the court authority to the drug court participants.