DRUG COURT

The first graduates of the Montgomery County Adult Drug Court Treatment Program. (File photo)

Drug treatment courts (DTC) are specialized court dockets within the existing structure of Virginia’s court system offering judicial monitoring of intensive treatment and strict supervision of those with a substance use disorder. DTC offers a second chance by providing access to sober housing, employment, treatment, recovery resources, and providing the support and encouragement

ADMISSION CRITERIA
• Referrals are made through the local Commonwealth Attorney typically from a client’s defense attorney.
• High Risk/High Needs: Risk assessment factors that are crucial in determining a defendant’s suitability for the drug treatment court, such as family and community ties, mental health status, employment status, educational status and prior criminal history are weighed by the drug treatment court judge on a case-by-case basis.
• 18 or older
• Non-Violent Offenses: Risk assessment factors that are crucial in determining a defendant’s suitability for the drug treatment court, such as family and community ties, mental health status, employment status, educational status and prior criminal history are weighed by the drug treatment court judge on a case-by-case basis.
• Voluntary Participation: Participation in a drug treatment court is voluntary and requires a written agreement among the defendant, the Commonwealth and the judge.
• Resident of the County
• Agreement among Team Members

EXCLUSION CRITERIA
Any of the following criteria is sufficient for exclusion from this level of care:

• History of Violent Crime
• Organic mental disorders which would suggest a poor prognosis for improvement.
• Personality disorders which would prevent the individual from being able to participate in the process in a constructive manner.

EXPECTATIONS
• Our local Drug Court Programs consist of 5 Phases. Each phase has expectations for curfew, recovery and treatment participation, as well as community service and giving back to the community.
• Average Length of Program is 20-24 months
• All participants receive frequent, random drug screens
• All participants required to obtain and maintain full-time employment
• All participants are required to complete 100 hours of community service
• Participants in Phase 5 must complete an approved community service project designed to give back to the community

SERVICES PROVIDED
Within DTC each client is assigned a Case Manager and receives case management services. Depending on the clients individual needs, the client may also receive Peer Services, group and/or individual therapy, or a variety of interventions like MAT, IOP, Partial, or residential care. The level of care is based on the clients individual needs and addresses mental health as well as substance use needs.

GRADUATION/DISCHARGE
Participants graduate after reaching Phase 5, completing their Giving Back project, as well as gaining the approval by the DTC team.

INVOLUNTARY DISCHARGE
Though clients can withdraw at any time, the court may decide to involuntarily discharge a client. This is due, but not limited to the client’s lack of compliance with program rules, being charged with additional criminal offenses, or inability to stop continued, persistent substance use.

STAFFING
Our local DTC is a multidisciplinary team composed of, but not limited to, Judge, Probation, Commonwealth Attorney, Defense Attorney, treatment, law enforcement, Peer Services, and community members. The court is led by a Coordinator, an employee of NRVCS. Treatment (group, psychiatric, individual therapy, etc.) for participants is provided by NRVCS. DTCs depend upon a comprehensive and inclusive planning process.