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Drug Court

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NEWS
March 18, 1986 | By William W. Sutton Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
City Councilwoman Joan Specter yesterday proposed that Philadelphia create a "drug court" as a way to gain more convictions in drug cases. But at last one city judge, Municipal Court President Judge Joseph R. Glancey, said it is an old idea that is not worth reviving. The councilwoman said the idea is to put all drug-related court activities in a central location. Implementation of the idea would not add to the cost of court operations because the same judges and court employees would be used, she said.
NEWS
January 31, 1990 | By John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
Calling Philadelphia courts a "revolving door" for drug dealers, a state senator is pushing for a new court to handle only drug cases. The idea is not new, but Sen. Chaka Fattah, D-Philadelphia, says a "drug court" could help get dealers off the streets by cutting court backlogs and drug offenders' rates of repeat crimes. A new court, he says, would add 13 judges to the city's 85 Common Pleas judges, reduce backlogs that now approach 13,000 cases, cut the time - up to a year - it takes to get drug cases into court, and fund drug treatment programs.
NEWS
July 19, 2005 | By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that a Chester County woman will remain in Drug Court pending her appeal of the voluntary rehabilitation program's rules. Attorneys for both sides confirmed that a telephone conference with Superior Court Judge Stephen J. McEwen Jr. resulted in his order continuing two stays issued by the appellate court earlier this month. A three-judge panel is expected to hear the appeal by Sheryl Ann Fletcher, but no date has been set. In April, Fletcher sought an alternative to lengthy incarceration by signing up for Drug Court.
NEWS
December 29, 1989 | By Robin Palley, Daily News Staff Writer
Political, civic and law enforcement leaders met yesterday to plan a strategy for seeking federal funds for a city "drug court" and drug treatment facility. The proposed complex, which would cost $26 million a year to run, would combine a court staffed with judges handling only drug cases and a special jail where inmates would serve out sentences while receiving therapy for addiction. The proposal is the work of a 16-member task force, appointed last June by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. to find solutions for the backlog in the Philadelphia court system.
NEWS
November 30, 2005 | By Jeff Shields INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Montgomery County will create a special drug court in 2006 and help to finance eight new police officers for Norristown, officials announced yesterday as they unveiled next year's $448 million budget. The drug court follows the lead of Philadelphia and Chester County. The approach, expected to cost $400,000 next year, is intended to provide more consistent prosecution and follow-up of addiction-related crime while relieving overcrowding at the county jail. The expenditure won't affect the county's 2006 tax rate, which will remain steady at $2.89 per $1,000 of assessed value - the third time in four years the county has forgone a tax increase.
NEWS
December 29, 1989 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter said yesterday that he was optimistic the federal government would provide "substantial" funding for a special court to try drug-related cases in Philadelphia and for drug treatment for offenders. Specter convened a meeting of federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Center City to plot strategies for obtaining the aid from $8.9 billion that Congress allocated to fight the drug problem across the country. He said he would send a letter to federal drug czar William J. Bennett requesting the funds and would meet with him next month to discuss the program, which he said could be used by other cities if it proved successful in Philadelphia.
NEWS
January 31, 1990 | By Robert Zausner, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
State Sen. Chaka Fattah yesterday proposed legislation that would create a 13-judge Philadelphia drug court and a mandatory drug-treatment program to relieve a judicial backlog that has reached nearly 13,000 cases. All he has to do now is find $26 million a year to pay for it. The Democrat from Philadelphia said at a news conference that his bill, to be introduced in a few days in the House and Senate, was an outgrowth of recommendations made last summer by a task force appointed by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. The legislation would authorize the appointment of 13 additional judges to Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia to create a temporary division to hear drug cases.
NEWS
May 15, 2012 | By Joelle Farrell, INQUIRER Trenton Bureau
TRENTON — Democratic lawmakers want to divert some nonviolent offenders into drug treatment rather than prison, a notion Gov. Christie made one of his priorities this year. But two bills winding their way through the Senate and Assembly would use a two-county pilot program to test Christie's belief that forcing people into drug treatment can work. Christie wants to make participation in drug court, a program that keeps drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment, mandatory.
NEWS
December 15, 1989 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 16-member task force yesterday called on the state Supreme Court and the legislature to create a new 13-judge "drug court" as an emergency response to the surge in felony drug cases clogging the city's criminal courts. Saying that one-third of all court cases filed in 1989 directly involved drugs, the task force appointed in June by Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. issued preliminary recommendations for a two-part strategy to speed disposition of drug cases: A drug court, to be housed outside City Hall with its own court personnel, sheriff's deputies, assistant district attorneys and public defenders, would be a short-term solution to reducing the backlog of 12,500 criminal cases and would exist for five to 10 years.
NEWS
September 21, 2004 | By Jennifer Moroz INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
No one went before a judge, but the doors of Burlington County's drug court officially opened yesterday. The program, part of a state effort to rehabilitate those charged with nonviolent drug-related offenses through treatment, not jail time, made its debut in the county with the installation of a coordinator. Its first cases will go before Superior Court Judge John A. Almeida, the county's designated drug court judge, on Monday. Burlington County had been one of eight New Jersey counties without the program, which the state launched in 1996 in Camden and Essex Counties.
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NEWS
June 4, 2013
By Terence Farrell Local lockups, county jails, state prisons, and federal correctional institutions are filled and overflowing across the United States. The cost of housing all of the offenders is staggering, especially in this time when many needed social programs for the poor and those with disabilities are struggling to find funds to provide services. A recent book, Justice or Just This?: A Constitutional Trespass , by Berks County Court Judge Jeffrey Kent Sprecher, reveals some eye-opening facts about incarceration in this country.
NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Skyler Robinson, blamed for the death of Gloucester Township's much-loved canine police officer, is back in jail. Camden County officials detained him Monday after they discovered that Gloucester County had issued a warrant for a possible probation violation. On Thursday, law enforcement and elected officials were angered after a judge accepted Robinson's application into drug court, which places defendants into treatment programs instead of prison. In 2010, Robinson's arrest prompted national outrage after local authorities alleged that he had flung Gloucester Township's K-9, Schultz, into traffic as he fled from a robbery.
NEWS
January 27, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Skyler Robinson did not intentionally kill Gloucester Township's beloved police dog, and he is not a violent criminal, says his attorney, Saul Steinberg. Legislators and local law enforcement officials see it differently. They say Robinson, 22, of Sewell, belongs in jail for robbery, assault, resisting arrest, and causing Schultz's death. But Robinson may avoid prison if he is accepted into and successfully completes drug treatment as ordered Thursday by a judge. National outrage after the dog's 2010 death led to New Jersey's "Schultz's Law," sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, both Democrats from Gloucester County.
NEWS
January 26, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer and Darran Simon, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A Sewell man charged in the death of a beloved police dog got a break Thursday when a judge agreed to consider drug rehabilitation before prison. A scuffle in 2010 between Skyler Robinson, 22, a former Washington Township football star, and Gloucester Township police ended in with the dog, Schultz, being killed in traffic on Route 42. A tearful ceremony for the dog several days later attracted more than 1,000, including officers and their dogs who lined up for the farewell. Attorneys had been preparing for trial next week when Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown agreed that Robinson, who has a history of drug use, now qualified for a diversion program.
NEWS
January 26, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Skyler Robinson did not intentionally kill Gloucester Township's beloved police dog, and he is not a violent criminal, says his attorney, Saul Steinberg. Legislators and local law enforcement officials see it differently. They say Robinson, 22, of Sewell, belongs in jail for robbery, assault, resisting arrest, and causing Schultz's death. But Robinson may avoid prison if he is accepted into and successfully completes drug treatment as ordered Thursday by a judge. National outrage after the dog's 2010 death led to New Jersey's "Schultz's Law," sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden and Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, both Democrats from Gloucester County.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Barbara Boyer and Darran Simon, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A Sewell man charged in the death of a beloved police dog got a break Thursday when a judge agreed to consider drug rehabilitation before prison. A scuffle in 2010 between Skyler Robinson, 22, a former Washington Township football star, and Gloucester Township police ended in with the dog, Schultz, being killed in traffic on Route 42. A tearful ceremony for the dog several days later attracted more than 1,000, including officers and their dogs who lined up for the farewell. Attorneys had been preparing for trial next week when Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown agreed that Robinson, who has a history of drug use, now qualified for a diversion program.
NEWS
June 29, 2012 | By Frank Kummer
Bill Simmons, or El Wingador to Wing Bowl fans, wants it known he's a changed man since his release this week on bail for cocaine distribution charges. "I let down my fans and my family," Simmons, 50, said in a statement released by his publicist. He says he made a "gigantic" mistake. Simmons was arrested and charged with first-degree drug distribution June 15 when New Jersey State Police found $8,000 worth of cocaine and $4,000 in cash in his Kia Soul. Gloucester County detectives and the state police's drug-trafficking unit had been observing Simmons for some time for suspected dealing.
NEWS
June 2, 2012 | By Joelle Farrell and INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
TRENTON — The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would provide mandatory drug treatment to nonviolent offenders, a priority for Gov. Christie. But the bill would cost more than three times what Christie has set aside in his proposed fiscal 2013 budget. It also would launch with a pilot program rather than statewide, as the governor wants. Christie declined through a spokesman to comment on the legislation. "I appreciate [Christie's] support on this," said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union)
NEWS
May 15, 2012 | By Joelle Farrell, INQUIRER Trenton Bureau
TRENTON — Democratic lawmakers want to divert some nonviolent offenders into drug treatment rather than prison, a notion Gov. Christie made one of his priorities this year. But two bills winding their way through the Senate and Assembly would use a two-county pilot program to test Christie's belief that forcing people into drug treatment can work. Christie wants to make participation in drug court, a program that keeps drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment, mandatory.
NEWS
March 2, 2012 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling addiction a treatable disease, Gov. Christie said Thursday that he would require treatment for nonviolent criminals with drug dependence, a program that would take at least a year to start. In the meantime, Christie would offer yearlong drug treatment to 1,000 to 1,500 low-level offenders now in prison. "I believe that this will be, if we do it the right way, one of the lasting legacies of this administration," Christie said at a news conference at the Rescue Mission of Trenton.
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