Prepared by: Bexar County Court at Law No. 1 Adult Drug Court Program. Drug Courts

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1 Prepared by: Bexar County Court at Law No. 1 Adult Drug Court Program Drug Courts presentation Presiding Judge: Honorable Al Alonso

2 Session Objectives: As a result of this session, you will be able to: Better understand the impact that alcohol and substance abuse has on the criminal justice system Describe strategies used in the criminal justice system to address alcohol and substance abuse Be able to describe the Drug Court model

3 What is a Drug Court? An innovative court which does the following: Ties treatment to the criminal justice system Operates under the notion of therapeutic jurisprudence: Judicial monitoring such as comprehensive supervision, frequent and mandatory drug testing, immediate sanctions and incentives, and court mandated counseling can be more effective in reducing drug use and crime than incarceration

4 Legal Basis for Drug Courts Robinson vs. California (1962) The U.S. Supreme Court asserted that drug addiction is not illegal; hence, the understanding of the drug courts is that the drug-addicted offender is not necessarily to blame for his or her criminal involvement as this behavior is often motivated by their addiction or rather their illness and instead of punishment, the offender needs treatment.

5 Why do we need Drug Court? To combat over crowding of jails and rising recidivism (re-arrest) rates of non-violent drug addicted offenders To address the increase in the use of illicit drugs and alcohol, which is leading to long-term addiction

6 Issue at a Glance What is happening in the Criminal Justice System: 11 million people pass through American jails each year Two-thirds of adult arrestees test positive for at least one illicit drug 4 million or 2% of the population are seriously addicted to illicit drugs in this country 17,000 DUI deaths yearly since 2002 or fatality every 30 minutes (33% are repeat offenders) You and I have a 30% chance of being involved in a DUI crash during our lifetime. San Antonio has one death every 5 days

7 Drugs fuel our CJS One in four Americans has a family member who is struggling with addiction Currently addiction affects 22.2 Million Americans, yet only 9% are receiving treatment

8 Issue at a Glance (continued) The Criminal Justice System is fueled by alcohol and drug abuse Average addicted person commits 200 undetected crimes per year

9 What if we just put them in prison?

10 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years

11 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime

12 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime

13 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime 25% incarcerated for new crime

14 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime 25% incarcerated for new crime 50% re-incarcerated for violations

15 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime 25% incarcerated for new crime 50% re-incarcerated for violations Relapse to Substance Abuse in 3 Years

16 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime 25% incarcerated for new crime 50% re-incarcerated for violations Relapse to Substance Abuse in 3 Years 95% relapse

17 What if we just put them in prison? Criminal Recidivism in 3 Years 68% arrested for new crime 47% convicted of new crime 25% incarcerated for new crime 50% re-incarcerated for violations Relapse to Substance Abuse in 3 Years 95% relapse (TRI, 2002)

18 Snapshot of the Prison System The prison population in the US has increased over 1000% in the past 30+ years ,000 prisoners ,000 prisoners ,000 prisoners ,600,000 prisoners ,166,260 prisoners ,300,000 prisoners

19 History of Drug Courts First Drug Court was established in Dade County, Florida in 1989 to address the issue of rising arrests and incarceration rates related to drug offenses As of September 1, 2001, the 77 th Texas legislature mandated through House Bill 1287 that. HB 530. As of September 2001, Bexar County established its first Drug Court - Bexar County Adult Drug Court Program Presently, Bexar County has 4 Drug Courts: Felony, Misdemeanor, Juvenile, and Family

20 Purpose of the Drug Court Two fold: (1) to provide court-supervised drug treatment instead of more traditional criminal sanctions (2) to remedy the costly practice of incarcerating nonviolent drug addicts

21 10 Key Components of Drug Court 1. Drug Courts integrate substance abuse treatment with justice system case processing 2. Using a non-adversarial approach, the prosecution and defense promote public safety while protecting participants due process rights 3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in drug court programs 4. Drug courts provide access to substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services

22 Key Components (continued) 5. Abstinence is monitored by frequent drug and alcohol testing 6. A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants compliance 7. Ongoing judicial interaction with drug court participants is essential 8. Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness

23 Key Components (continued) 9. Education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation and operations 10. Partnerships among drug court, public agencies and community based organizations generate local support and enhance drug

24 How are Drug Courts Funded Grants: Ex. Local Law Enforcement Block Grants (L.L.E.B.G.) Criminal Justice Division - Governor s Office (C.J.D.) Program Income, $1, Private Industry State & local government

25 Are Drug Courts Useful? Drug Court save tax dollars: Drug courts reduce jail/prison use thereby lowering criminal justice costs Since 1989, 71% of offenders entering drug courts have either successfully completed the program or are currently active in their program (GAO, 1997) Incarceration of drug-using offenders costs between $20,000 and $50,000 per person per year. A comprehensive Drug Court system typically costs less than $2,500 annually for each offender Crack babies cost society $250,000 and drug courts cost an average of $2,500 per offender

26 What do we know about Treatment Treatment reduces drug use Treatment reduces crime Treatment saves money Treatment increases employment prospects Drug treatment is as successful as treatment of diabetes, asthma, and hypertension Research Findings: The length of time a patient spent in treatment was a reliable predictor of his or her post treatment performance. Beyond a ninety-day threshold, treatment outcomes improved in a direct relationship to the length of time spent in treatment, with one year generally found to be the minimum effective duration of treatment.

27 For More Information National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) or

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