1 Your Role as an Attorney in Drug Court Julie Turnbull Hank Judin
2 Session Description To DISCUSS the role attorneys play in drug courts, from the intake of clients to the representation on sanctions or motions to revoke/closures The requirements of the attorneys vary and are guided by drug court team decisions, which may seem adverse to the way an attorney would typically handle a criminal case.
3 Objectives Learn what role an attorney plays in Drug Court Learn the importance of an attorney being a member of the Drug Court Team
4 The Ten Key Components for Drug Court
5 Second Key Component Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants due process rights.
6 What Does That Mean? To facilitate a participant s progress in treatment, prosecutors and defense counsel must shed their traditional adversarial courtroom roles and work together as a team. Once a defendant is accepted into the drug court program, the team s focus is on the participant s recovery and law-abiding behavior not on the merits of the pending case.
7 Role of the Prosecutor The responsibility of the prosecutor is to protect the public s safety by ensuring that each candidate is appropriate for the program and complies with drug court requirements. In addition, the prosecutor should work together with the rest of team members to provide a coordinated response to the participant s overall compliance with the program requirements.
8 Procecutor s Role Dallas DIVERT Court I. Eligibility Requirements Fulfilled Live in Dallas County Appropriate charge Time frame Criminal record check II. Meet Observers III. Staff intakes and sign paperwork IV. Monitor/Team meetings V. Dismissal
9 Role of Prosecutor in Your Court Open Discussion
10 Role of the Defense Attorney The responsibility of the defense counsel is to protect the participant s due process rights while encouraging participation. Both the prosecuting attorney and Defense counsel play important roles in the court coordinated strategy for responding to noncompliance.
11 Role of Defense Counsel Help build and unify the team/program Interview potential participants and get qualified participants into the program Understand addiction/exercise patience/keep participants accountable Understand the scope of drug court program and fully explain to client and advise of rights, benefits, and alternatives
12 Role of Defense Counsel in DIVERT Court We have a great defense attorney! Meets potential participants individually and advises them of benefits of DIVERT as well as alternatives. Helps them sign intake paperwork/answers questions. Serves on the court team to monitor participant s progress and votes on sanctions/incentives Starting a foundation for our court
13 Role of Defense Counsel in Your Court Open Discussion
14 Relapse Attorneys in Drug Court Should Understand Sanctions and Incentives Team Concept
15 Recommended Practices For consistency and stability of drug court operations, the judge, prosecutor, and court appointed defense counsel should be assigned to the drug court for a sufficient period of time to build a sense of teamwork and to reinforce a nonadversarial atmosphere. There should be full disclosure of the drug court program requirements prior to entry into the program.
16 Role of the Team Non-adversarial Clear expectations Clear roles Unified Message
17 Role of the Team Drug court team members may include, but are not limited to, the judge(s), prosecutor, defense counsel, drug court coordinator, case manager(s), treatments providers(s), law enforcement, evaluator, clerk, and any person deemed appropriate. Every drug court should formally define its mission, goals, eligibility criteria, operating procedures, and performance measures during the planning process and routinely RE-EVALUATE them.
18 Role of the Team (continued) The drug court should meet on a regular basis to address any issues of concern relating to policies, procedures, and the overall operation of the drug court. The team should develop a cross-training plan to assist when staff turn-over occurs. All drug court team members should attend education and training sessions provided locally and nationally.
19 Goal of Drug Court Keep participant crime free Keep participant drug free Increase participant s life skills Protect participant s due process rights, while protecting the community
20 Style Changes for Attorneys Identify the style of your judge Identify the style of your prosecutor Identify the style of the Defense Counsel Decide how best to modify your style for the therapeutic outcome of the program
21 Objectives Reviewed Do we better understand: - The ten key components and how #2 applies to the role of attorneys - The role of the team - The role of the prosecutor on the team - The role of defense counsel on the team
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