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St. Mary's pretrial supervision program earns praise as it cuts incarceration

St. Mary's pretrial supervision program earns praise as it cuts incarceration

Suzanna Fowler has many challenges in her life.

At 32, the mother of three is addicted to drugs, and pregnant again.

She's on probation for possessing drug paraphernalia. And she's facing trial on drug distribution charges.

But at least she's not in jail.

Fowler is one of roughly 45 defendants now receiving services and supervision through St. Mary's County's pretrial supervision program, which is winning accolades for its results in getting criminal defendants to show up for trial and avoid new offenses without relying on bail or incarceration.

The program has been held up by law enforcement leaders and lawmakers across Maryland as a potential model as...

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