- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
An annual fundraiser for the Charles County family recovery and juvenile drug court programs earlier this month took in nearly $1,600 that will go to rewards and incentives for participants along with miscellaneous items that do not fall under the program’s grant funding.
The county’s volunteer Drug Courts Steering Committee began holding the fundraiser four years ago to pay for “certain things under a grant that will not be covered,” such as a congratulatory pizza party for teens in the juvenile drug court program, Charles County Drug Court Coordinator Maryellen Kraese said.
For instance, the program’s grant may cover the “community supervision” costs of sending a sheriff’s officer to supervise a trip to an amusement park but not the actual tickets, Kraese said.
The fundraisers also help pay for random things participants might need, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate, Kraese said.
“We try to look for fun, but then other times, you wouldn’t believe the things that come up,” she said. “It’s all about paying for things for the participants, mostly rewards and incentives.”
An intervention program offering nonviolent offenders ages 14 to 17 who are chronic drug users the chance to erase their charges by participating in therapy and counseling, the county’s juvenile drug court program recently celebrated its 50th graduate since beginning in 2006, Kraese said.
The family recovery court began with a three-year grant in 2011 and gives young parents with crippling addictions the chance to retain custody of their children. Its maximum accommodation is technically 25 participants, but “because of the needs of the community,” it has about 30 current enrollees, Kraese said.
Both programs last about 12 months and include four phases but feature different treatment methods for teens and adults, Kraese said.
More than 2,000 drug court programs exist nationwide.