The State of California is committed to the belief that providing services and treatment for alcohol and drug use is preferable to the incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders. In furtherance of this concept, California has created drug courts for adults and juveniles within its collaborative court system. California’s first adult drug court began in Alameda County in 1991. California’s first juvenile drug court began in Tulare County in 1995.
Drug Courts are evidence-based court programs that provide an alternative to traditional criminal justice case disposition for individuals trying to cope with the effects of substance use. This form of collaborative court adopts a supervised, team-based, non-adversarial approach to case resolution. It combines this oversight with treatment services as an alternative to incarceration.
The goals of California’s Drug Court are to reduce recidivism and substance abuse in offenders and increase the likelihood of their successful rehabilitation. Drug courts accomplish this by addressing the underlying issues that may have contributed to participants’ involvement in criminal activity.
Drug courts serve various diverse demographics such as adults, juveniles, repeat drug offenders, multiple offenders, parents of children in the child welfare system, and drug probation violators. Most drug court participants have long histories (ten years or more) of abusing alcohol and other drugs and have received little or no treatment for their substance abuse.
Most California adult drug courts are post-adjudication models in which participants are placed in drug court after entering a guilty plea. Charges may often be reduced after the successful completion of this program. In addition to achieving sobriety, participants are required to complete educational and job training requirements.
John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. Certification as a Specialist in Criminal Law is the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices have decades of experience defending individuals charged with violent felonies. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.