1. Drug Treatment Court
The mission of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court (hereinafter referred to as “DTC”) is to increase public safety in Baltimore City through timely intervention and comprehensive treatment of substance abuse offenders; to provide for the rehabilitation of these individuals; and to “break the cycle” of recidivism.
To attain its mission, DTC strives to reach the following goals:
- Enhance public safety
- Provide nonviolent offenders, who have been assessed as drug-dependent, fully integrated and comprehensive substance abuse treatment services with close criminal justice supervision and judicial monitoring.
- Provide a cost-effective alternative to incarceration for non-violent criminal defendants whose crimes are drug involved, freeing valuable incarceration resources for violent offenders, and reducing the average length of pre-trial jail time.
- Provide resources and support to assist the drug dependent offender in obtaining skills necessary for the maintenance of sobriety.
- Reward positive life changes while maintaining accountability for negative conduct.
- Rehabilitate drug offenders to be productive, self-sustaining members of society.
Defendants may be referred to DTC by the State, defense attorneys, and the bench. All persons referred to DTC are screened for eligibility and must meet the following criteria:
- Be 18 years or older
- Be a resident of Baltimore City
- Show indication of serious and chronic substance abuse
- Not be on parole at the time of the offense(s) referred or at the time of the plea into DTC
- Have no open cases in any jurisdiction other than Baltimore City
- Not be on probation unless the circuit court judge to whom the defendant is on probation agrees to transfer the supervision of that probation to DTC or; if a district court probation, the judge agrees to hold any violation of probation in abeyance unless the defendant has been terminated from DTC because of a violation of probation.
The eligibility vetting process also includes a review of an individual’s criminal history. Defendants convicted of the following types of crimes are automatically ineligible for referral to DTC unless the conviction occurred at least ten years before the date of the current offense and any sentence was completed at least five years before the date of the current offense. Cases that have second degree assault and burglary convictions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- Murder and Manslaughter
- Abduction or kidnapping
- First Degree assault or other serious violent crimes
- Sex offenders in the first, second, or third degree
- Child Abuse (Physical or sexual)
- Armed Robbery and other cases involving handguns
DTC consist of one (1) DTC Prosecutor and one (1) DTC Coordinator. The Prosecutor handles three DTC dockets per week averaging one hundred cases weekly. The Prosecutor also attends pre-hearing conferences before each DTC docket, to discuss any pending issues, as well as, participants’ progress in the program. Additionally, the prosecutor vets and approves defendants for DTC, maintains statistical data, and attends monthly meetings with the Baltimore City Overdose Fatality Review Committee. This committee consists of various agencies and stakeholders and is charged with obtaining information regarding individuals who overdosed in Baltimore City in order to determine could death have been prevented and, if so, what risk factors were involved in the individual’s death; what changes in behaviors, technologies, agency systems, and/or laws could minimize these risk factors and prevent another death; and what are the best recommendations for helping to make these changes.
The DTC Coordinator prepares the weekly dockets, assists with the vetting process; and schedules amenability assessments and plea in dates for new cases.
The contact information for DTC staff is as follows:
Gregg Solomon, Esq.
Office: (443) 984-6173
Office: (443) 984-6229
The DTC program has proven very successful. Over 75% of the participants successful complete the program and graduate from DTC. The program assists nonviolent offenders overcome their addictions, as well as, develop positive life changes in order to become more productive citizens.
2. Mental Health Unit
In an effort to positively impact the alarming trend of the large number of offenders with serious and chronic mental illness entering the criminal justice system each year, the Baltimore City District Court has created a Mental Health Court (MHC) and the Baltimore City Circuit Court has created a Mental Health Case Management Docket (MHCMD). These specialized dockets have four broad purposes; to preserve public safety, to reduce repeated criminal activity, to reduce the need for frequent psychiatric hospitalization and to reduce inappropriate incarceration of the mentally ill offender. Participants are offered a treatment based sentencing alternative, which utilizes judicial oversight as a component of the program. A comprehensive approach is taken in order to provide an array of services to address the complex needs of this population.
The MHC/MHCMD dockets are staffed by numerous criminal justice partner agencies including the Office of the State’s Attorney. The Office of the State’s Attorney has dedicated experienced attorneys, training, and expertise to support the work of these specialized dockets.
If you have questions about MHC or MHCMD you can contact the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office MHC unit:
The Court Social Work Staff (FAST)