Juvenile Drug Court Program
Angela R. Shroyer, Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator
County Courts Building, Room 405
401 Bosley Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204
What is the Baltimore County Drug Court?
The Baltimore County Juvenile Drug Court Program is a three-phase intervention program for juvenile offenders who want to change their lifestyle by staying clean and sober. It is operated on a collaborative basis by the Juvenile Drug Court team. The Drug Court team is comprised of:
- A Judge
- A State's Attorney
- A Public Defender (or the youth's private attorney)
- A Department of Juvenile Services Probation Officer
- A Counselor from the First Step, Epoch, or Community Solutions
Who is Eligible for the Program?
Any juvenile between the ages of 13 and 17 years old who has been charged with a crime, other than a violent crime or sexual offense, is eligible to be accepted into the Juvenile Drug Court Program. Juveniles are screened for eligibility based upon their need for treatment, their commitment to the program and their past delinquency history. Candidates who are accepted into the program participate on a voluntary basis. All participants must sign a Juvenile Drug Court Participation Agreement, which authorizes certain sanctions and incentives. The use of sanctions and incentives is dependent upon the participant's response to Drug Court requirements.
How Does the Juvenile Drug Court Program Work?
The Drug Court Program involves frequent court appearances, random drug testing and counseling, both on an individual and group basis. All three phases of the program last approximately three months each. During the first two phases, the participant receives intensive education and therapy, along with close supervision by the Court. The third phase focuses on the participant taking responsibility for his or her actions. The formal program requirements decrease during the final phase, but the participant's progress is monitored to assure he or she remains drug free. Upon completion of all three phases of the program, the participant graduates and shares in the reward that he or she has accomplished a significant achievement.
What Must Be Done to Enroll in the Juvenile Drug Court Program?
The following three steps must be taken before an eligible juvenile is enrolled in the Drug Court Program. The steps are as follows:
- The juvenile must first talk to his or her parent or guardian about the program and whether they will support the juvenile (including court appearances) in his or her efforts to stay chemical-free.
- The juvenile must then talk to his or her Public Defender 410-324-8900 or private attorney about whether he or she should enter the program.
- Finally, the juvenile must contact the Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator at 410-887-2199, who will further explain the requirements of the program and arrange for an assessment with the Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse.
What are the Benefits of Participating in the Juvenile Drug Court Program?
- Offers juvenile offenders a unique opportunity to improve their lives and remain chemical-free
- Promotes stronger family relationships
- May lead to dismissal of the charges against the juvenile offender
- Can improve the participant's self-image and self-worth
- May provide an opportunity to avoid a commitment to a juvenile camp or institution
- May provide an opportunity for reinstatement to school or assist the participant in obtaining a GED certificate
Do I need to have an attorney with me for all reviews/court appearances?
Having a lawyer present to represent you is your right and your decision. A lawyer is always a benefit in a courtroom setting, as they can help you to better understand the proceedings and give you options. A lawyer may also advocate your position to the court. There is a public defender assigned to advise and represent Drug Court Participants at no cost. You are encouraged but not required to use these services. If you choose to use private counsel, your attorney will be able to advise you of when and where his or her services are required and or needed.
The contact person at the Office of the Public Defender of Baltimore County is Carolyn Ross, Esquire. Her phone number is 410-324-8946.
You can learn more about the History of the Juvenile Drug Court.
Revised January 6, 2016