In Maryland, people who are arrested may have the option of going through drug court instead of the normal court. According to the National Institute of Justice, a drug court is a special system set up for offenders with drug addictions that provides treatment for substance abuse as an alternative to jail time. Such courts were established after a study indicated that many crimes were committed due to substance addiction.
The court has four parts to it that any offender within the program must complete. Participants are placed on intensive probation supervision, which means regular meetings with a probation officer and consent to home visits and employment checks. The participants must also complete drug treatment and submit to drug testing, along with attending regular court hearings to monitor the status and performance in the program.
Completion of a program is dependent upon a few factors. First, the person must pass drug testing for at least nine months. He or she must also be employed and have been in the program for at least 12 months. Finally, the person needs to complete 20 hours of community service.
According to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, to be eligible for the drug court program, a person must meet specific requirements. He or she cannot be on probation for another crime unless the judge approves a move to drug court. The person cannot have any pending charges in other courts or be on parole. He or she must be a resident of Baltimore, at least 18 years old and have a serious drug addiction problem.