|Location:||Montgomery County Circuit Court
South Tower Terrace Level, Rm T540
|Hours of Operation:||8:00 am - 4:30 pm|
The Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court is a comprehensive, voluntary treatment program for adult offenders suffering from drug and alcohol dependence. The goal of the program is to reduce recidivism by providing intensive services and supervision to address substance dependence and criminal thinking.
The mission of the Adult Drug Court Program is to reduce addicted offenders’ criminal activity and thereby increase public safety by linking them with appropriate services. Success of the program is tied to the success of participants being able to sustain a crime-free and sober life. Adult Drug Court staff work with treatment providers, concerned community organizations, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and correctional facilities to guide participants into making healthier lifestyle choices.
To promote the interests of the offender, and the community in which he/she lives, the Montgomery County Circuit Court Drug Court provides an alternative to traditional case processing and disposition that emphasizes the value of:
- Collaborative treatment planning, case management and judicial decision-making;
- Dedicated leadership and professional resources who are well-informed on the cycle of addiction and its consequences;
- Positive reinforcement and rapid response to success;
- Graduated sanctions as vital to the support and reinforcement of the adopted treatment interventions and to motivate compliance with the requirements of the program; and
- Long-term treatment and sanctioning models that have a reasonable tolerance for relapse that is consistent with the recovery process.
The Program is a minimum of 20 months and consists of 4 phases. All participants are required to:
- Engage in substance abuse treatment;
- Attend recovery meetings;
- Appear for frequent status hearings;
- Meet with a case manager on a regular basis; and
- Reside in court-approved housing.
- An adult resident of Montgomery County, Maryland;
- Sanctioned and approved by the Office of the State’s Attorney for referral to the Drug Court Program as part of a binding plea agreement;
- Referred as a condition of a violation of probation (VOP);
- Assessed as a substance abuser; and
- Fully capable of participating in Drug Court activities and programs.
Referrals to Drug Court
Anyone is able to make a referral to the Montgomery County Adult Drug Court Program
If you would like to have a defendant evaluated for possible entry into the Drug Court Program, please contact the Problem Solving Courts Coordinator at 240-777-9141.
Additional information about the Adult Drug Court Program is available from:
Defendants must sign an Agreement to enter the Drug Court Program. In addition, Defendants must sign a Confidentiality Waiver:
To graduate, participants must:
- Successfully complete all of the program and probation requirements including all restitution and costs;
- Satisfactorily complete community service and other program assignments;
- Successfully complete 180 continuous days of clean urinalysis;
- Prepare for and attend a Graduation Review Board and Exit Interview;
- Receive a positive recommendation for graduation by the Drug Court Team; and
- Receive the approval of the Drug Court Judges.
Drug Courts operate on their own dockets at the Circuit Court. Court costs and fees are waived upon admission to the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are Drug Courts?
- Why develop a Drug Court? What problems does a Drug Court address?
- How is the program structured?
- Can Drug Court participants be terminated from the program after enrollment?
- How else do Drug Courts differ from traditional courts?
A Drug Court can be defined as "a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-addicted offenders through an extensive supervision and treatment program (National Association of Drug Court Professionals , 2001). In Montgomery County, Drug Court is a collaborative partnership sponsored between the Montgomery County Circuit Court, other law enforcement agencies, the health treatment system, and program participants to end the cycle of addiction that leads to crime.
Through a multi-phased supervision program, criteria-eligible offenders are enrolled in the Drug Court by admitting to a violation of probation, or entering a guilty plea for any new charges and placed on probation that reflects a special condition of successfully completing Drug Court. Through a combination of intensive treatment, case management, regular court appearances, drug and alcohol monitoring, job placement, and community participation, participants engage in a therapeutic process to end their abuse of alcohol and other addictive substances, and to avoid new entries into the criminal justice system. Through the effective intervention of the Drug Court Team, program participants can live as contributing, productive members of their communities.
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 problems associated with substance-dependent offenders are familiar to every criminal justice practitioner, health treatment professional, and many of our own citizens. High rates of re-arrest, fragmented approaches to treatment, a focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation for non-compliant probationers, and a lack of capacity for rapid response to conditions that might interrupt the process of recovery, contribute to a well-documented “revolving door” that returns these offenders to the Court for subsequent offenses.
The Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court Program has adopted a model with a focus on collaboration and team decision making that reflects the therapeutic and supervision needs of each program participant to address the following problems:
- Substance-abuse and drug-related recidivism by offenders who are in violation of the conditions of their probation and are at risk of continuing their criminal activities if they are not successfully rehabilitated from their alcohol and other drug dependencies. Through the successful implementation of the Drug Court Program, the court delivers a continuum of treatment, habilitation, and supervision services to successfully support the offender toward full and permanent recovery.
- A reliance on incarceration, or other negative sanctions, as a primary response to Violations of Probation. Through the adoption of its Drug Court Program, the Court adopts a model of therapeutic jurisprudencethat promotes the idea that the law is a therapeutic agent; positive therapeutic outcomes are important judicial goals; and the design and operation of the courts can influence therapeutic outcomes.* Through its emphasis on treatment, the Drug Court promotes a new model for rehabilitation intended to promote community safety through effective interventions that end the cycle of addiction. Incarceration is one tool, among many, to sanction participants struggling to meet the high expectations of the Drug Court Program.
(* U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice, March, 2003.)
- Fragmented approaches to treatment and supervision.Traditionally, law enforcement, the courts, and the health treatment community have operated through a “silo” approach that insulates them from shared accountability. However, this approach misses opportunities to leverage the unique strengths of each stakeholder in the system to promote offender recovery from addiction. The Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court model overcomes that fragmentation by operating from a multi-agency team approach to enhance, strengthen, and complement the contributions of each member of the team. Members of the team, regardless of their tasks assigned by their home agency, share a common mission, promote the unified achievement of common goals and objectives, and maintain a shared accountability for success. Through a unified approach to treatment, supervision, and enforcement, the Drug Court is well positioned to tailor treatment to the needs of the offender, respond swiftly to conditions that require the immediate attention of the Drug Court team, and actively engage in the entire case/offender management process through system-wide collaboration.
- A lack of capacity to respond rapidly to conditions that might interrupt the process of recovery.The Drug Court is a multi-phased program that requires weekly meetings with a participant’s Case Manager, weekly attendance at Drug Court, individual therapy, random urinalysis, and attendance at AA/NA meetings. Through intensive supervision, weekly meetings of the Drug Court Team, and weekly access to the Judge, the Drug Court eliminates the problem of delay in treatment and intervention so prevalent in traditional approaches to case processing. At any time, a Drug Court participant is no longer than a week away from a court appearance. Through a model of intensive supervision and treatment that is continuously monitored, the Drug Court can respond quickly to situations that require its intervention.
For more information, contact the Maryland Office of Problem Solving Courts.
The Montgomery County Circuit Court Drug Court is a post-sentencing program for individuals charged with a new offense and/or violation of probation as a result of substance abuse.
Offenders who enter the Drug Court Program are placed on probation with special conditions that support the goals of recovery and rehabilitation. Placed under the supervision of the Drug Court Program, enrollees consent to participate in a structured, four-phase program that involves:
- Formal group and individual treatment sessions;
- Frequent and random urinalysis;
- Case management meetings;
- Regular court appearances;
- Mandatory attendance at NA/AA meetings; and
- Other program-related requirements for a minimum of 20 months.
Once enrolled in the Program, Drug Court participants will be subject to all conditions of probation recommended by the Drug Court Team and approved by the Drug Court Judge.
The Adult Drug Court operates in a team setting. The Team consists of the:
- Drug Court Judges
- Case Managers
- Representatives from the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender
- Problem-Solving Court Coordinator
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Division of Parole and Probation.
The Drug Court Team reviews cases weekly in preparation for the weekly Drug Court sessions. During these meetings, Team members review the progress of each participant in the program and make recommendations to the judge on how best to meet the needs of offenders enrolled in the program.
Yes. Enrollment and participation in the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court is an opportunity for an offender to overcome his/her dependence on drugs and/or alcohol. Through successful completion of the Drug Court Program, offenders are given the opportunity to maintain sobriety and avoid future criminal activity. Offenders may be disqualified from program entry, continuation, or graduation if it is in the interests of the community and/or the credibility of the Drug Court Program to do so. Although it is difficult to identify every circumstance that may lead to program disqualification, examples include:
- Continuing criminal activity while under the supervision of the Drug Court.
- Absconding from supervision leading to the issuance of a bench warrant.
- Acts of violence while under the supervision of the Drug Court Program. Special emphasis is placed on any violence, or threats of violence, that occur in the participant’s home, place of work, or at treatment centers/programs.
- A demonstrated lack of capacity or willingness to engage in treatment and follow the conditions of probation imposed by the Drug Court.
- Co-occurring disordered individuals whose mental illness is so severe to prevent active and full participation in the Drug Court Program.
Drug Courts are offender-focused habilitation models that recognize the powerful influence of substance abuse as a driver of behavior. Recognizing that recovery from addiction is vital to community safety and individual accountability, the Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court leverages several tools to support participants as they move toward recovery:
- Unique involvement by the Drug Court Judges.
- A non-adversarial, collaborative approach to treatment.
- Weekly meetings of the Drug Court Team to review cases.
- Weekly dockets dedicated to Drug Court cases.
- Recognition, reward and positive reinforcement for progress.
- The rapid imposition of negative sanctions as motivators to improve compliance and change negative behaviors.
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM