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What are Drug Courts in NJ?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2018 | Criminal Law |

Drug court programs are designed to assist defendants in overcoming alcohol and drug dependencies while they resolve non-violent related criminal charges. Introduced in New Jersey in 1996, drug courts are a uniquely specialized, collaborative effort between criminal justice and drug treatment professionals. Lead by a drug court judge, the team consists of attorneys, court staff, substance abuse evaluators, probation officers, and drug treatment professionals. This team works together to support and monitor the participant’s recovery, providing authority, supervision, and encouragement.

About New Jersey drug courts

New Jersey’s drug court program offers an alternative to incarceration, concentrating on treatment and rehabilitation for the offender in a closely supervised environment. Drug courts include a multifaceted judicial process in conjunction with treatment services and intensive probation supervision. Drug courts encourage personal accountability, education, and full-time employment, providing support services and self-help through community organizations. Since April 2002, more than 4,760 participants have graduated from New Jersey drug courts. In addition, 88% of program graduates are employed at time of graduation and 67% obtained a valid drivers’ license. Drug courts are the most effective justice intervention for treatment of individuals with drug addiction, reducing drug use and crime, saving money, and providing the opportunity for offenders to have a new start on life.

How drug court works

Soon after arrest, defendants come under the supervision of the drug court. Upon acceptance into the program, participants begin a treatment program that typically lasts one to two years. New Jersey’s drug court program is demanding, requiring attendance at treatment sessions, frequent random drug testing, regular court appearances, and meetings with probation officers. The program offers residential programs when deemed necessary, intensive outpatient programs, self-help groups, relapse prevention, and other services. Intense supervision allows the program to both support the individual’s recovery process and permit supervisors to react swiftly to reinstate criminal proceedings or impose therapeutic sanctions when participants are not in compliance with the program.

Eligibility for New Jersey drug court

New Jersey’s drug courts are focused on adult defendants with substance abuse issues who have undergone a clinical assessment and legal review by drug court team members. Defendants with previous convictions or those with pending charges for a violent offense are excluded from the program.

Contact us to answer your questions about New Jersey’s drug court

If you are facing a drug charge, you may be wondering if you are eligible to participate in New Jersey’s drug court. Let us help. The New Jersey drug defense lawyers at Lomurro Munson LLC have been helping New Jersey families for more than 130 combined years, protecting their rights and advocating on their behalf every step of the way. To speak with a member of our team about your situation, contact our office at 732-482-9285 or online to arrange for a confidential consultation.