The Department of Specialty Courts oversees the Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Veterans Treatment Court programs. Collectively referred to as Specialty Courts, these programs are similarly structured and supervised and have the same goal – to give participants the opportunity to overcome substance use disorder and make a positive change in their lives.
All the programs provide oversight by a judge along with case management, treatment and drug testing.
Specialty Courts help individuals charged with nonviolent felony and misdemeanor offenses who are eligible for diversion and/or probation and are identified by screening tools as being high risk and high need.
The foundation of a successful Specialty Court program is its multidisciplinary team. The judge leads a team of Specialty Court staff, defense attorneys, prosecutors, treatment providers and law enforcement officers. Specialty Court staff create case management plans for participants and monitor their progress. Judges volunteer their time to serve Specialty Court programs.
Specialty Courts operate as part of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which pays for treatment, drug testing and case management. There is no cost to participants.
These programs offer substantial benefits to individuals and society by reducing recidivism, cutting incarceration costs, decreasing medical costs, and improving child support and tax revenue as participants gain employment. In addition, the devastating cycle of generational criminal behavior and addiction is broken as participants become healthy, productive members of their communities.