Manatee County Drug Court Overview. The Drug Court concept began in 1989 in Miami-Dade County in response to the crack

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1 Manatee County Drug Court Overview Prepared by: Manatee County Drug Court Alfred James, Manager January 2014 Drug Court History The Drug Court concept began in 1989 in Miami-Dade County in response to the crack cocaine epidemic. In order to relieve an over-crowed docket, often with repeat offenders due to their addiction to crack cocaine, a group of justice professionals decided to combine treatment with judicial supervision and to work as a team to combat this problem. This process proved effective in battling this issue and as a result there are now more than 2,734 Drug Courts in operation in the United States as of June 2012 (NADCP.org, 2013). What is a Drug Court? A Drug Court is a type of specialty or problem-solving court, this means that it is a special docket designed to address a particular issue with the criminal justice system. Defendants are pulled out of the regular court system to have frequent interactions with the judge and treatment team. Drug Courts are designed to treat addicted individuals and give them the tools they need to change their lives (Huddleston & Marlowe, 2011). As of January 2013, there are 102 Drug Courts of varying types in operation in the state of Florida including 49 adult felony 5 adult misdemeanor, 24 juvenile, 21 family dependency, and 4 DUI courts. There were nearly 10,000 admissions into the various Florida Drug Courts in 2011 and in that same year more than 200 children were reunited with their parents through the various dependency Drug Courts and there were more than 100 drug-free babies born to female participants while in Drug Court (flcourts.org, 2013). The Twelfth Judicial Circuit established the Manatee County Drug Court in 1997, bringing together public safety and public health

2 P a g e 2 professionals in the fight against drug abuse and crime. The Manatee County Drug Court has provided treatment to 1246 participants since the year The program currently has 159 participants who have signed contracts and 14 participants are in the assessment stage for a total of 173 active participants. In order to better provide a picture of what a Drug Court is and how it works we should look at the players, the process, and the outcomes. Drug Court Team The Manatee County Drug Court consists of a team of legal and treatment professionals coming together to attack the problem of substance related criminal behavior in our community. This team includes a Circuit Judge, the State s Attorney s Office (SAO), the Public Defender s Office (PD), Department of Corrections (State Probation), law enforcement and treatment professionals. These professionals manage a specialized docket within the court system that focuses on frequent hearings before the judge in an attempt to help the participants in the program to become both crime free and drug free. Target Population The following are criteria of the target population for the Manatee County Drug Court. Current Charges Current charges must be non-violent Current charges must be non-drug sales Felony Misdemeanor Criminal History Background No violent criminal history No history of drug sales Substance Abuse Association 18 years of age or older Criminal behavior related to substance abuse or addiction. Process

3 P a g e 3 Eligible program participants are screened by the State s Attorney s Office and the Public Defender s Office to ensure appropriate cases are entered into the program. Common drug court cases include drug charges, thefts, forgeries, felony prostitution, and certain burglary cases, other types of criminal charges may be admitted upon review of circumstances surrounding the case. Participants with private attorneys may also enter, but must be screened by the State Attorney s Office to ensure they have an appropriate criminal background history. Potential participants are also assessed to determine if substance abuse has led to the criminal behavior currently being presented. Once approved to enter the program, participants are provided with a 2-3 week period during which time the Drug Court team assesses their progress. Participants do not have to have a perfect record to be accepted into the program, but they must show a willingness to change by attending appointments and reducing substance use or being honest with the treatment professionals concerning their use. The Drug Court treatment team stresses honesty has a key factor in a person s progress in the program. At the end of the 2-3 week assessment period the Drug Court treatment team will provide a recommendation to the entire Drug Court team as to whether the individual is appropriate to work the program. Once the individual as been accepted by the team he or she will sign the Drug Court contract confirming entrance into the program and will begin receiving program credit for completing assigned activities. It is also important to note that participants who are accepted into the Drug Court program also received supervision through the Florida Department of Corrections (Felony Probation) in order to ensure participants follow the guidelines of the program. Program Structure The Manatee Drug Court is designed to be completed in one year for most participants and consists of four phases with each phase designed to address certain treatment issues as

4 P a g e 4 participant s progress. In the last two years, the Drug Court Team has added Pretrial Intervention (PTI) cases which are primarily first-time offenders. Participants in Drug Court PTI may complete the program in six months granted they do not test positive for drug use. They must also either maintain employment or enroll in school as well as keep all costs current. The premise is to work with substance abusers early and stem the use of addictive behavior. Below is an overview of the program phases and the requirements of each phase. A. Phase I: Orientation-Minimum of 30 days Weekly Drug Court appearances 3 therapy groups per week- daily 8am groups if not employed/school 1 scheduled individual therapy session per week Random Urinalysis, everyone reports on Monday or Tuesday after a holiday Attend 1-12-step meetings per week. (NA/AA) Meet with Case Manager on a weekly basis B. Phase II: Engagement-Minimum of 90 days Attend Drug Court sessions as determined by the Court Attend 2 therapy groups per week- daily 8am groups if not employed/school Random Urinalysis, everyone reports on Monday or Tuesday after a holiday Attend 1 scheduled individual counseling session with counselor bi-weekly Attend 2-12-step meetings per week. Keep payments current Sponsor must be verified by counselor Meet with Case Manager bi-weekly. Must be employed, in school or combination of both Participation in service work in the 12 step community 30 days clean prior to moving to next phase Maintain daily journal of thoughts and feelings 4 minimum Complete Step 2, share with counselor/group or Change preparation stage Complete list of relapse warning signs and their preventions and share Write a good-bye letter to your drug of choice and share. C. Phase III: Maintenance-Minimum 180 days Attend Drug Court sessions as determined by the Court Attend 1 group therapy session per week- daily 8am groups if not employed/school

5 P a g e 5 Random Urinalysis, everyone reports on Monday or Tuesday after a holiday Attend 1 scheduled individual counseling session with counselor per month Attend step meetings per week Keep payments current Sponsor must be verified by counselor Meet with Case Manager monthly Participation in service work in the 12 step community 60 days clean prior to moving into Pre-Grad Obtain Driver s License, unless excused by the Court Pay restitution if owed Keep daily journal of your thoughts and feelings Develop budget plan with your counselor Complete Step 3 and share with counselor/group or Stages of Change Write report in regards to working Steps 4&5 with our sponsor and share D. Phase IV- Pre-Graduation-Minimum 60 days Attend Drug Court sessions as determined by the Court Attend 1 therapy group per month- daily 8am groups if not employed/school Random Urinalysis, everyone reports on Monday or Tuesday after a holiday Attend 1 scheduled individual counseling session per month or PRN Attend 4-12 Step meetings per week Participate in service work with sponsor Sponsor must be verified Meet with Case Manager as needed Keep payments current Maintain employment or school Pay all restitution/court costs Prepare and aftercare plan Must have 90 days clean to graduate Must share life story with group Cannot graduate while using any narcotic medications prescribed or not Drug Court Partners The Manatee Drug Court utilizes partnerships with various community agencies in an effort to help our participants succeed not only in Drug Court, but in life as well. The following is a list of providers we collaborate with in order to address issues not specific to Drug Court.

6 P a g e 6 Agency Mothers and Infants Dept of Correction Sun Coast Workforce Board Hope Services Salvation Army Bridges of America Westcare Manatee Glens ARNP Service Provided Pregnant Participants receive treatment until and after the baby is born. Probation Officers provide a separate layer of community supervision and communication for the DC team. Provides services for participants such as Bonding to help with securing employment. Some services are provided on-site to help ensure maximum benefit. Provides in-house domestic battery services to participants who have had traumatic events in their lives. Provides Residential drug treatment at no cost to participants who are in need of more intensive treatment services. Provides Residential drug treatment at no cost for participants who are in need of more intensive treatment services. Provides Residential drug treatment at no cost for participants who are in need of more intensive treatment services. Provides alcohol and substance abuse treatment for Drug Court participants. Provides in-house medical and mental health services. Provides psychological assessments, medications, referrals Outcomes Financial Researchers have stated that Drug Courts have a positive effect upon the community and criminal justice system at various levels. Research also suggests that Drug Courts save money as much as $2.21 for every $1 invested and reduce crime by as much as 45% in the jurisdictions where Drug Courts are present (Huddleston & Marlowe, 2013). When looking at Manatee County we can see the savings of Drug Court as it relates to costs associated with housing incarcerated non-violent offenders with substance abuse issues. It currently costs approximately

7 P a g e 7 $71 per day to house an inmate at the Manatee County jail. Many offenders spend an average of 45 days in jail waiting for their cases to be disposed whether for probation or more jail time. Using these numbers, the Manatee County Drug Court saves the County over $480,000 it costs less than $8 per day per participant for Drug Court to provide treatment for an individual. It should be noted that when a person is in jail he or she does not receive any treatment for their substance abuse while incarcerated, this generally leads to individuals being released only to commit more crimes related to their drug use. Recidivism The Manatee County Drug Court measures success by the number of people who are not re-arrested for up to 24 months after graduation from the program. Since 1997, the overall success rate for the Manatee County Drug Court is 82.9%. This means that more than 80 of every 100 graduates do not commit any new crimes for up to 2 years after graduating from the program. Once again, this affects jail and other legal costs associated with processing, housing, and supervising offenders in the criminal justice system. In 2009, the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) released a study on adult postadjudicatory drug courts in Florida which showed that individuals who successfully completed post-adjudicatory drug courts were 80% less likely to go to prison than the comparison group. Drug Free Babies A recent news article reports that babies experiencing drug-related symptoms after birth has risen by about 45% since 1995, babies born with drug-related symptoms after birth are generally lower in weight, pre-mature, have birth defects, and generally have more learning and behavioral problems (AHRQ, 2012). These problems generally lead to parents and society having to provide a variety of treatment options for children born with exposure to both central

8 P a g e 8 nervous system stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines) and central nervous system depressants (opiates, sedatives). Through our partnership with the Mothers and Infants program, there have been 50 drug-free babies born throughout the years which have resulted in an estimated $15 million in savings to the tax payers through decreased medical and other treatment protocols for these children.

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