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Adult Drug Court

Adult Drug Court Overview

The Adult Drug Court is the original Specialty Court in the 2nd Judicial District, established in 1995 under the auspices of Judge Peter Breen, following the national model that began in Miami in 1989. The goal of the Adult Drug Court is to engage the drug-addicted criminal offender in intensive therapeutic and judicial intervention, with the goal of reducing further involvement in the criminal justice system. The Court pays for the cost of treatment when clients are initially enrolled in the program although participants are expected to repay the cost of their treatment as they conquer their addiction, gain employment skills, stable housing etc.

The primary drugs of choice in the Adult Drug Court are methamphetamine and alcohol, followed by cocaine, marijuana, and opiates. Many defendants in the Drug Court exhibit co-occurring disorder and those with a severe mental illness are often transferred to the Mental Health Court for more intensive attention to their disability.

The Adult Drug Court provides defendants charged with drug-related crimes with outpatient treatment services and drug testing with the goal of reducing further involvement in the criminal justice system. The program is set up for one year of treatment and six months of Aftercare. (Aftercare clients are still seen by primary counselors when there are issues of relapses, job loss or any other crisis that may occur). The program is set up in five phases; each phase has a different level of intensity. Some clients will require inpatient treatment before continuing their drug court program. The length of time and the requirements can increase depending on how well a client is progressing and meeting treatment goals.

The 2nd Judicial District Court contracts with Bristlecone Family Resources to provide testing, treatment, and case management for Adult Drug Court clients, using a Team approach involving the judge, defense counsel, treatment personnel, court personnel, parole and probation, and the prosecutor as needed.

Educational and vocational services are part of the comprehensive treatment plan. At four months, clients receive an individual life skills assessment through Project CARE and are offered financial literacy classes, pre-employment skills training, and assistance in securing appropriate employment. Assistance in reviewing educational status is provided as needed along with goal setting for furthering each client’s educational goals. The legal structure of the Adult Drug court is bifurcated, according to the class of defendant. It is a post-adjudication, pre-sentencing court for those entering the court before sentencing and it is a post-sentencing court for those who are assigned to the court as a condition of their probation.

Upon acceptance, the entire case is transferred to the Adult Drug Court, to allow the Adult Drug Court Judge to have full jurisdiction over the case, including final disposition. Upon final disposition, the case is closed per normal court procedures. If a defendant is removed from Drug Court he/she is returned to the original Judge for further proceedings.