Participant Handbook. Williamson County. DWI/Drug Court Program

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1 Participant Handbook Williamson County DWI/Drug Court Program March, 2014

2 Introduction Welcome Welcome to the Williamson County DWI/Drug Court. This requirement of community supervision is designed to benefit you, your family, and the entire community. Our plan is for you to become a clean and sober, productive, law-abiding citizen. The DWI/Drug Court Team, consisting of the Judge, a prosecutor, defense attorney, Drug Court coordinator, community supervision officer, and treatment staff, work together to help you through treatment, identify problems you are having that are causing problems in recovery, help you to work on those problems, and help you to successfully finish probation. The team meets together each week or as needed to staff your case, so each member of the team has input into how relapses and other violations of the conditions of supervision will be handled, with the Judge making the final decision at each court appearance. Why am I here? Alcohol and/or other drugs have caused problems that got you involved in the criminal justice system. It is likely that you have been arrested more than once for DWI or possession of illegal substances, and in lieu of sending you to jail, the judge has decided instead to allow you into DWI/Drug Court instead. This is a chance for you to show everyone that you can stay clean and sober and stay out of trouble, through the help of this DWI/Drug Court. What is DWI/Drug Court? The Williamson County DWI/Drug Court is a court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program for non-violent offenders placed under supervision of the court for misdemeanor DWI and drug offenses. The program requires close and constant interaction between participants and the Judge, the court staff, prosecutors, a defense attorney, treatment providers, and the supervision officers who are all committed to help you to stay sober and guide and assist you, but the final responsibility for your success is yours. You must be motivated to make the necessary changes to commit to an alcohol and drug free life.

3 What do I have to do? Most importantly, you have to be honest in DWI/Drug Court. You will be given intensive treatment for your alcohol or illegal substance problems, and you must be honest about your use. If you violate the conditions of supervision or other requirements of DWI/Drug Court, there will be consequences. The Judge and the rest of the DWI/Drug Court Team are all trained in substance dependency issues, and will work with you to help you achieve sobriety and help you learn the tools you will need to stay clean and sober. In the beginning, you will be seen very often by your community supervision officer in the office, at your home, and in treatment. You will have to take regular alcohol and drug screens. You will attend treatment on a regular basis. And you will appear in court weekly so the Judge can review your progress. As you progress, you will be seen less often, have to go to treatment less often, be alcohol and drug tested less frequently, and will progress toward graduating from DWI/Drug Court and returning to regular supervision or discharge from probation. DWI/Drug court is divided into three phases. Those phases and the requirements of each are spelled out below. Phase I The goals of Phase I are to develop a treatment plan, begin treatment, complete Intensive Outpatient Treatment, achieve sobriety, introduce 12-step programs, and begin to lay groundwork for relapse prevention. Program length is four months. Court and Treatment Expectations: Orientation by community supervision officer, signing required release and participation forms; Compliance with the conditions of supervision; No drug and/or alcohol use; Clean drug/alcohol screens prior to promotion to Phase II; Screening for drug/alcohol use up to multiple times weekly, and report for random drug/alcohol screens as directed; Provide input and agree to treatment plan; Treatment will consist of detoxification if needed, inpatient residential treatment if needed; intensive outpatient treatment if needed, and beginning a cognitive skills program; Cooperate with efforts to address issues regarding health, housing, employment, and related problem areas; Attend court up to 4 times per month, as determined by the DWI/Drug Court Team; Attend 12-step meetings 2-4x weekly, on non-iop treatment days; and obtain a 12-step sponsor; Abide by curfew: 10 p.m. 5 a.m. Begin regular payments on court-ordered obligations; and,

4 Report as required to the community supervision officer. Phase II The goals of Phase II are to re-evaluate the treatment plan, complete Aftercare and cognitive skills program, maintain sobriety, obtain a 12-step sponsor, focus on stabilizing family / relationships and employment and educational pursuits, and continue relapse prevention work. Program length is five months. Court and Treatment Expectations: Compliance with the conditions of supervision; No drug and/or alcohol use; Clean drug/alcohol screens prior to promotion to Phase III; Screening for drug/alcohol use once to multiple times weekly, and report for random drug/alcohol screens as directed; Provide input and agree to revised treatment plan; Treatment will consist of Aftercare and a cognitive skills program; Cooperate with efforts to address issues regarding health, housing, employment, and related problem areas; Attend court 2 times per month, as determined by the DWI/Drug Court team; Attend 12-step meetings 2-4x weekly, and continue work with 12-step sponsor; Stabilize family / other relationships; Stabilize employment and/or set goals for vocational / educational pursuits; Continue regular payments on court-ordered obligations; and, Abide by curfew: 11 p.m. 5 a.m., Report as required to the community supervision officer. Phase III Phase III is the aftercare component of treatment, during which the treatment plan is again re-evaluated, sobriety is maintained, 12-step meetings and work with the sponsor are continued, there is continued focus on stabilizing family / relationships and employment and educational pursuits, and relapse prevention work continues with the development of a discharge plan or relapse prevention plan, as you transition to regular community supervision or discharge from supervision. Program length is approximately three months. Court and Treatment Expectations:

5 Compliance with the conditions of supervision; No drug and/or alcohol use; Clean drug/alcohol screens; Screening for drug/alcohol use randomly, and report for random drug/alcohol screens as directed; Provide input and agree to revised treatment plan and relapse prevention or discharge plan; Be connected with the appropriate service providers and/or have stabilized health, housing, employment, and related problem areas; Attend court 1 time per month, as determined by the DWI/Drug Court Team; Attend 12-step meetings 2-4x weekly, and continue work with 12-step sponsor; Maintain stability in family / other relationships; Maintain stability in employment and/or be working toward goals for vocational / educational pursuits; Finalize payments on court-ordered obligations; and, Abide by curfew if required, and Report as required to the community supervision officer. Example Violations in all Phases: Unexcused absences. All expected absences from appointments, classes, and treatment require notification of community supervision officer and/or treatment provider prior to the absence. Absences from treatment are all noted, but are considered unexcused until staffed by the Drug Court Team, which may deem them excused or unexcused; Behavior not conducive to recovery; Dishonesty; Positive, missed, delayed, substituted, and/or diluted drug / alcohol screens; Non-compliance with treatment and/or 12-step meeting attendance; Non-compliance with community service and/or other class attendance; Curfew violations; Absconding; and, Commission of new offenses. Sanctions / Treatment Responses: Admonishment by the Judge; Explanation of behavior to group and plan of action to correct behavior; Pay for confirmation on disputed urinalysis results; Bringing newspaper or magazine articles to court on the effects of substance use on behavior, such as articles on driving while intoxicated accidents, medical information, burglaries related to substance use, and similar items;

6 Rewards: Increased treatment requirements, including individual counseling sessions; Increased 12-step attendance, such as 30 in 30 or 90 in 90; Increased reporting; Increased drug / alcohol screening; For dishonesty, a Thinking Report on behavior and proposed plan of action to correct behavior. (Modified verbal sanction if participant cannot read and write); Additional community service assignments to the work crew in 4 to 8-hour increments for dishonesty; Jail time in 2 to 10 day increments for continued violations; Movement back in phases for additional treatment and supervision; and, Program termination and possible motion to revoke probation if there are continued violations. Praise by community supervision officer; Praise by treatment provider; Praise from the bench by the Judge; Praise in court by other Drug Court team members; Applause in court; Reduction in court hearing frequency; Reduction in drug/alcohol testing schedule; For Phase I completion, rewards may include a certificate and a later curfew. For Phase II completion, rewards may include those as in Phase I, plus a small reward as donated by a local business. Phase III completion may include rewards as per Phase I and II, plus recommendations for graduation. Program Completion Upon successful completion of the DWI/Drug Court program, you will be successfully discharged from community supervision. In the event that you are under supervision for a DWI charge, state law does not allow for early discharge from supervision, but you will be placed under minimum supervision until the time of your discharge. You are reminded that when you agreed to enter this program, one of the benefits was a recommendation from the County Attorney s office that you be placed under community supervision for a shorter time than is ordinarily recommended for like offenders. If you are placed under supervision for drug possession, the judge has the option to early discharge you from supervision.

7 Fees You will be responsible for your court-ordered financial obligations, although the team will work with you on a payment plan if necessary. Other fees for treatment are based on ability to pay. An income assessment is prepared to determine your ability to pay. While you will be required to pay for some of the costs of the program, a large majority of the costs are being paid for by the citizens of Williamson County and the State of Texas. Be assured that treatment costs are less expensive than the costs of alcohol, drugs and jail! Program Rules Along with your conditions of supervision and other requirements, you are required to: 1. ATTEND ALL ORDERED TREATMENT SESSIONS You must attend all ordered counseling, all educational sessions and all ordered Recovery Support meetings. If you are unable to attend a scheduled session, you must contact your community supervision officer or treatment counselor before your scheduled appointment, and not all absences will be considered excused. 2. BE WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, AND BE ON TIME You must be home by curfew if required, and attend court sessions, treatment, appointments with your officer, and other appointments scheduled for you. If you are late for a scheduled session you may not be allowed to attend and will be considered absent. You must contact your probation officer, or treatment counselor before the time of the scheduled session if there is a chance that you will be late. 3. BEHAVE IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER AT ALL TIMES Violent, aggressive or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Such behavior will be reported to the Judge and may result in your termination for the program. 4. NO ALCOHOL, DRUGS, OR WEAPONS Do not bring alcohol, drugs or any kind of weapon into Court or any other facility associated with the DWI/Drug Court. Possession of such item(s) may result in you being terminated from DWI/Drug Court and possible revocation of probation. Committing new offenses may also cause you to be dropped from DWI/Drug Court and be referred back to the Judge that originally placed you on probation. 5. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR COURT, TREATMENT AND OFFICE VISITS. TURN OFF ALL PAGERS AND CELL PHONES, AND DO NOT USE

8 TOBACCO PRODUCTS OR CHEW GUM IN COURT, TREATMENT SESSIONS, GROUPS OR OFFICE VISITS As a DWI/Drug Court participant, you must dress appropriately according to the Participant Agreement you sign and receive. Pagers and cell phones may not be used in court, treatment sessions, groups or office visits. The Court may take any pagers or cell phones which sound during the Court session. The Judge may decide to keep these items and not return them to you. 6. BE HONEST You must be honest with the DWI/Drug Court Team. Information you disclose about the offense you are under supervision for and/or information about your current use will be dealt with in DWI/Drug Court and will not be used against you in future prosecutions or motions to revoke or proceed with adjudication; however, dishonesty about your use will result in more severe sanctions. 7. PAY FEES AND MAINTAIN EMPLOYMENT To the extent possible, you must pay your court ordered obligations and maintain employment. You may not be considered to advance to the extended/next phase or graduate if these obligations are not met. Conclusion This handbook was designed as a guide and will not cover every question you may have about the Williamson County DWI/Drug Court. If you have additional questions or need further assistance concerning the location, operation, administration, eligibility, or requirements of the Williamson County DWI/Drug Court, contact your Community Supervision Officer. Good Luck! We truly believe that the DWI/Drug Court and your efforts can help you make a positive change in your life.

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