|Q.||I would like to have my loved one go through drug court. What can I do?|
|A.||Unless your loved one lives in one of the 23 counties that have drug court, he or she cannot participate in the Drug Treatment Court Program.
Avery, Brunswick, Buncombe, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Guilford, Halifax, Lenoir, McDowell, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, Person, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Union, Wake, Watauga and Wayne counties do have drug courts. If your loved one lives in one of these counties, to qualify for drug court, he or she must meet several criteria. He or she must:
Each county drug court program may have additional eligibility rules.
- be addicted to a chemical substance,
- be willing to volunteer for the drug treatment court program, and
- be eligible under the state's structured sentencing system for a community or intermediate punishment as an alternative to active prison time.
|Q.||What is an Adult Drug Treatment Court?|
|A.||Drug Treatment Court is an intensive, highly structured program designed to identify and treat offenders whose criminal activities are generally related to substance abuse. The program places offenders in counseling and provides structure in that person’s life. Accountability is provided in part by a probation officer who checks on the person’s progress through home and office visits. In addition, the participant must attend periodic (typically biweekly) court sessions during which their treatment compliance and drug testing is monitored.|
Adult Drug Treatment Court’s mission is to break the cycle of drug addiction by offering the tools to stay clean. Those tools include, among other things, counseling, and housing, school and employment assistance.
|Q.||Which offenders are eligible to participate in Adult Drug Treatment Courts?|
|A.||Offenders who are placed on probation and who are addicted to drugs/alcohol can be ordered by the court to participate in Drug Treatment Court as an Intermediate Sanction. In addition, the Judge may order offenders already on Community-level sanctions who are at risk of revocation to jail/prison, and who are addicted, to participate in Drug Treatment Court. |
|Q.||Who is not eligible to participate in Adult Drug Treatment Courts?|
|A.||People can be ineligible to participate in drug court if they are classified as a violent offender, drug dealer, an habitual felon, a person who is not chemically dependent, or a person ineligible for a community or intermediate punishment through the state’s structured sentencing system. Each local drug court program may establish other existing criteria. |
|Q.||What is the Adult Drug Treatment Court Team?|
|A.||The Adult Drug Treatment Court team consists of a judge, an assistant district attorney, a defense attorney, a probation officer, a treatment counselor and a TASC case manager. |
|Q.||What services are available to the offender?|
|A.||Offenders in Drug Treatment Courts access services through the public treatment system including: individual, group and family outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. They are also referred to 12-step programs, GED, literacy classes, continued education services, budgeting, vocational rehabilitation, human resources development, housing services, anger management, and parenting classes.|
The “team” of a probation officer, case coordinator, treatment provider, defense attorney, assistant district attorney and Judge help the offender “stay on track.”
|Q.||How long does Adult Drug Treatment Court last?|
|A.||One to two years. Staying in the program depends on how well the offender deals with the structure that is added to his or her life.|
An offender is normally required to be in court on a twice monthly basis, and to arrive on time and stay for the entire drug court session. If the offender is not doing well, the judge may order increased drug testing, more meeting attendance, for jail sentence or a change in treatment.
The alcohol/drug treatment component of the program at a minimum includes weekly treatment meetings, weekly community support such as AA/NA meetings and frequent and random drug testing.
|Q.||What are some of the rules?|
|A.||A participant of Drug Treatment Court is required to attend all meetings and court sessions and be on time. Failure to appear in court will result in a warrant for arrest being issued.|
Abstinence from alcohol and other drugs is an ongoing requirement. Failure to comply with rules of the program will result in the imposition of immediate consequences.
Obviously, no drugs, alcohol or weapons are allowed. Behavior that disrupts the treatment of others in the program is not tolerated. Many drug courts have implemented dress codes for court attendance.
|Q.||How does an offender graduate from the program?|
|A.||An offender must successfully complete all phases of the program, have a significant period of clean time prior to graduation, have paid all treatment costs and complete an exit interview. |