For Immediate Release: August 22, 2016

Annapolis, MD - Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams welcomed County Executive Steve Schuh as the key note speaker as the State's Attorney's Office graduated 7 participants of Circuit Court Drug Court today.

"County Executive Schuh's comments were poignant today," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. "I am grateful to him for his commitment to fighting our drug epidemic."

On January 27, 2015, County Executive Steve Schuh declared heroin addiction a public health emergency in Anne Arundel County. Mirroring a nationwide increase in use and deaths from heroin, the county is currently experiencing more than one overdose a day and a fatality a week.

"Here today is a demonstration of the good that can occur when determined individuals find the will to make a better life for themselves and for their families," said Schuh. "In world too often focused on the bad, you each provide a story of inspiration that can be passed onto those who come after you."

Anne Arundel County has taken several measures to step up its focus on preventing addiction, treating addicts and punishing drug dealers. The current budget approved by the County Council invests $800,000 for a new substance abuse treatment center in Annapolis. The budget also increases community grant funding to treatment providers, funds an intra-county law enforcement task force, additional police detectives, sheriff's deputies and state's attorneys and canines.

"I am a proud partner of our Drug Court initiative and happy for each of our graduates today," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. "Good news comes in various forms in our line of work, but when we can focus on solving the causes of criminal behavior in our non-violent drug offenders, we not only return a productive citizen to the community, we also reduce the many crimes associated with drug addiction."

Anne Arundel County's Circuit Court Adult Drug Treatment Court program began in 2005. The first graduation was in 2007. The Circuit Court program has served more than 500 participants.

The Anne Arundel County District Court Adult Drug Treatment Court initiative began in 1997. The District Court program has served more than 2,000 participants.

In addition to saving lives and deterring victimization and recidivism, the Adult Drug Court Treatment program saves money. In FY16, the Anne Arundel County program funded 90 clients, costing $727,759.70, saving the county approximately $25,000 per year per participant.

This initiative works to improve our community through enhanced public safety by providing judicially-supervised treatment to substance abuse offenders, thereby reducing the social and economic costs of criminal activity and traditional incarceration. It is a collaborative effort among the Circuit Court, the State's Attorney's Offices, the Maryland Judiciary Office of Problem Solving Courts, the Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant, the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Office of the Public Defender, the Division of Parole and Probation, and the Department of Health. Relationships with other community agencies such as the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, and the many local treatment providers are considered vital to the success of the program.

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