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Administrative Office of the Courts

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Presentation on theme: "Administrative Office of the Courts"— Presentation transcript:

1 Administrative Office of the Courts
State of New Jersey Adult Drug Court Program New Jersey Judiciary Administrative Office of the Courts Stuart Rabner, Chief Justice Glenn A. Grant, Acting Administrative Director John P. McCarthy, Jr., Director, Trial Court Services Years at the Judiciary Experience in Union County Drug Court Training w/ NDCI Current Position

2 Drug Courts: A Brief History
Drug use in the US expanded with the crack cocaine epidemic of the mid-1980’s; the number of drug arrests skyrocketed The initial Criminal Justice System response was stricter laws that filled the US prisons As drug use was not influenced by the new laws, court dockets were overwhelmed and new strategies were developed to deal with the increase Expedited Drug Case Management, the early “Drug Courts” dealt with case processing issues only Even when mandated into treatment, most did not remain

3 Drug Courts: A growing crisis meets business as usual……..
The traditional adversarial system of justice, designed to resolve legal issues, was found to be completely ineffective at addressing drug abuse In fact, traditional court roles actually contribute to drug abuse by reinforcing denial (defense counsel role) Referrals for treatment were generally made after disposition, long after the “trauma” of arrest could be used as a crisis point for intervention; treatment retention rates were very low Services were generally fragmented, supervision caseloads overburdened and judges focused on expediting cases and not on case outcomes

4 Why Drug Courts for New Jersey?
As much as 70 to 80 % of all crime in the U.S. is committed by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol.1 Prison overload – Disproportionate number of minorities in NJ prisons Cost effective alternative to prison Research: Coordinating treatment and supervision has been proven to be much more effective in reducing drug use and recidivism than treatment alone or supervision alone Because early outcome studies in other states indicates there is reason for optimism 1 Drug Use Forecasting, Annual Report on Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, NIJ

5 Drug Courts Work to Stop this Endless Cycle
The Cycle of Addiction Substance Abuse Crime No Treatment Courts Incarceration Drug Courts Work to Stop this Endless Cycle

6 Definition of a Drug Court
Drug Courts are a highly specialized court process that functions within the existing Superior Court structure to address the non-violent drug addicted offender. One sentence description. But drug court involves so much more. HIGHLY SPECIALIZED EXISTING COURT STRUCTURE NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS ADDRESSING THE ADDICT

7 The Drug Court Team Superior Court Judge Assistant Prosecutor
Assistant Deputy Public Defender Private Bar Representative* Team Leader * Optional: Used in counties with a high percentage of private bar cases Drug Court Coordinator Probation Supervisor Probation Officer(s) Substance Abuse (TASC) Evaluator Court Clerk Treatment Provider(s)

8 Essential Elements of Drug Court
Non-adversarial process Non-traditional courtroom dynamic Intensive probation supervision Frequent and random drug testing Treatment partners with the CJS Focus on collaboration among agencies and other parts of the court system Holistic approach to dealing with the drug addicted criminal offender Sample of traditional sentencing process Courtroom atmosphere – Sheriff’s Officers – Opposing Council, no treatment providers ESSEX, CAMDEN examples Probation caseload size DRUG TESTING FREQUENCY – PARTNERSHIP WITH TREATMENT -

9 Who is Eligible for Drug Court
Non-violent substance abusing offenders N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 applies to some cases Drug court targets offenders who, were it not for their substance abuse, may never have been involved with “the system” Applicants must be clinically assessed and legally screened before acceptance An applicant’s suitability for the program is determined by the drug court team

10 Who is Not Eligible for Drug Court*
Offenders whose current or any other pending charges involve a violent offense; Offenders who have a prior conviction for a violent crime; Offenders motivated by profit, not addiction Offenders who use juveniles for drug distribution *Other criteria apply, please refer to the State of New Jersey Manual for Operation of Adult Drug Courts located at:

11 New Jersey Statewide Program
5 grant funded pilot counties: Camden, Essex, Mercer, Passaic and Union Chief Justice asked Presiding Judges to investigate drug courts for expansion PJ’s report recommended drug courts as a best practice in New Jersey On 9/6/01, legislation was signed to appropriate funding to implement the statewide program (P.L. 2001, c.243)

12 3 Phase Implementation Project
Transfer grant funded pilots to state funding: Camden; Essex; Mercer; Passaic; Union 5 new court vicinages began on 4/1/02: Bergen; Cumberland/ Gloucester/ Salem; Monmouth; Morris/ Sussex; Ocean Final 5 vicinages began on 9/1/04: Atlantic/Cape May; Burlington; Hudson; Middlesex; Somerset/Hunterdon/Warren

13 Drug Court Works !!! Programs report high participant retention rates, between 65-85% Participants note judges’ supervision, coupled with drug court treatment services and strict monitoring, is key to their success Drug courts are increasingly targeting the chronic recidivists as well as first offenders Many jurisdictions are adapting the adult drug court model to juvenile populations and family matters; drug courts are resulting in family reunifications and the birth of drug free babies

14 Financial Impact of Drug Courts
Drug courts are continuing to achieve cost savings for the justice system, particularly in the use of jail/prison space Incarcerating an adult for one year costs up to $37,000. In contrast, residential substance-abuse treatment costs an average of $14,600 and outpatient treatment costs an average of $2,300.2 Every dollar spent on treatment leads to a $7.46 reduction in crime-related spending and lost productivity, according to a study conducted for the Office of Nat’l Drug Control Policy.2 2 American University, Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project, Washington, DC

15 DC Outcomes for New Jersey
NJ retention rate is comparable to national rates* Early re-arrest, re-conviction and re-incarceration data provide much reason for optimism* Drug free babies are being born, sober parents are regaining custody of their minor children and families are being strengthened Participants are improving their education level, obtaining job skills, obtaining & maintaining employment and supporting their families. * For latest statistics, click here

16 DC Benefits CJS Staff Collaborations necessary for drug court reap benefits in other initiatives Focus on relationships between agencies can improve service delivery Focus on training for staff can educate them in their dealings with all addicted offenders Improved morale, job satisfaction and ability to “make a difference”

17 Drug Court Network

18 Drug Court Related Links

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