Appeal Threatens Pennsylvania’s Drug Courts


Sheryl Ann Fletcher of Pennsylvania attributed her alleged crimes of burglary, theft, and related offenses to methamphetamine abuse, making her a worthy candidate for Chester County’s Drug Court. Three months after being accepted into Drug Court, Fletcher, 39, has threatened the program and others like it with an appellate court challenge. Said Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Louis J. Presenza: “This will affect programs across the commonwealth, maybe even across the country.”

On June 29, a judge jailed her for testing positive for methamphetamine–her third violation of program rules. Her attorneys said she did not receive advance written notice of the violation, proof of the drug test results, or the chance to cross-examine witnesses. Fletcher’s attorneys said they did not believe people had to relinquish all their rights just because a program was voluntary. Offenders enter Drug Court with ulterior motives, Presenza said: “They want to stay out of jail or beat their case. They don’t come in and say, ‘I’ve got a problem; I must address it.’ ” Without the ability to impose sanctions, the programs would fail, he said.


Comments are closed.