Judge The Drug Treatment Court Judge provides leadership and direction to the team, provides judicial supervision for the offenders, and directs the weekly status conference meeting.
District Attorney The Assistant District Attorney’s role is to protect public safety.
Public Defender Assistant Public Defender’s role is to protect the rights of the participant.
Coordinator The Drug Treatment Court Coordinator’s role it is to oversee the overall function of the program including budgetary issues, supervision issues, issues related to treatment provision, and liaison issues with government and community agencies.
Probation Officers The Probation Officer’s role is to not only provide intensive supervision but also function as part of the treatment team. Officers are to provide insight at the weekly status conference meeting.
Treatment Service Providers The treatment provider’s role is to provide treatment services to the program participants as well as provide insight at the weekly status conference meeting. The probation and parole department works together with the treatment providers to avoid conflicts; allowing the participant positive team support during their substance-free journey.
ELIGIBILITY PRINCIPLES The Montgomery County Drug Treatment Court receives referrals from a variety of sources including the applicant, arresting officers, probation/parole officers, District Justices, District Attorneys, and the defense bar. Referrals are categorized into four types:
Diversion Cases: New criminal cases to the Criminal Justice System. The District Attorney has sole discretion over eligibility. They require a written admission of guilt and waiver for speedy trial rights (Rule 600) to the charges prior to being admitted to the program. No plea is entered and upon successful completion of the program requirements, the charges may be dismissed and record expunged.
If deemed eligible by the District Attorney’s representative, the offender undergoes a three step screening process. The offender is initially interviewed by the program coordinator who explains the program’s requirements, aim, and its voluntary nature. At the same time, an assessment is being completed to evaluate the offender’s motivation for applying to the program. If considered appropriate by the Coordinator, the offender is then referred for a comprehensive drug, alcohol, and psycho/social assessment by the program’s clinical evaluator. The final step in the process takes place when the full program committee meets and reviews the findings of the Coordinator and clinical evaluator. After a full review of the offender’s information, the committee will either accept or deny the applicant.
Recovery Cases: (Violation of Probation and/or Parole VOP) Offenders currently under the supervision of the Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole Department. Upon successful completion of all program requirements they may earn the termination of their periods of supervision if all program conditions are met and all financial obligations to the Court are satisfied. They do not qualify for record expungement. If the financial obligation is not satisfied during the program period, administrative supervision is continued until payment in full is made.
While the majority of Recovery cases are facing violation charges, the program has accepted several offenders who volunteered for the program as an aid in their attempt to maintain a substance free lifestyle. The screening process for Recovery cases is similar to that in use with diversion cases. However, the Coordinator will also consult with the assigned Probation Officer in order to receive feedback as to the offender’s suitability for the program. In Recovery cases, the District Attorney’s role is more limited than in Diversion cases. In the event of a case involving technical violations, the District Attorney can object to an admission at the committee meeting but can not block the admission. If the District Attorney has an objection, the sentencing Judge on the offender’s violation case is notified of the objection. If there are new charges and the District Attorney has an objection, the probation/parole violation (recovery case) can be admitted but the new charge must be entered post plea and there is no agreement regarding dismissal or expungement of the new charge. Once the District Attorney’s objection has been noted in the committee meeting, the Coordinator and clinical evaluator conduct their interviews with the offender. The committee then reviews their findings and a decision is made as to the offender’s admission or denial to the program. Recovery cases are only admitted with the Probation/Parole Judge’s permission.
Hybrid Cases: these are offenders who have both a Diversion case (new arrest) and a recovery case (current sentence of probation/parole/intermediate punishment). Hy brid cases are subject to the same admittance procedure of the Recovery and Diversion cases explained above.
Restrictive Intermediate Punishment Cases: New criminal case where the offender is a level 3 or 4 offender
under PA state guidelines. An offender can be admitted on their current probation case if they are in violation of their probation case, statutorily eligible, and have 3 years of sentence exposure. The new case or violation case will be referred to Drug Treatment Court for an assessment. Upon successful completion they may earn the termination of their periods of supervision if all program conditions are met and all financial obligations to the Court are satisfied. If the financial obligation is not satisfied during the program period, supervision is continued until payment in full is made.
INELIGIBILITY STANDARDS For Diversion, Recovery, and Hybrid cases, there are certain types of offenses and behaviors which are deemed to be inappropriate for the Drug Treatment Court for reasons of public safety. The following is a list of ineligible offenses and behavior:
• Drug Sales • Manufacture of a controlled substance • An offense involving firearm(s) • Possession w/ Intent to Deliver • Simple Assault • Aggravated Assault • Sex Offenses • A history of violence
This list includes any instant offense(s) or prior offense(s) that include these charges or behavior(s). The responsibility to deny or object to an admission based on the nature of the present or past offense is the District Attorney’s. The circumstances and details of all offense(s) are taken into consideration along with any victim impact.
For Restrictive Intermediate Punishment cases, the eligibility criteria for Levels 3 and 4 Sentencing Guideline Offenders applies to sentences for certain offenses committed on or after June 3, 2005 as per the 6th Edition of the Sentencing Guidelines Implementation Manual with substance abuse as a causative factor. An offender who meets the following criteria is eligible:
• The offender must be a Level 3 or 4 Sentencing Guideline Offender • The offender must be drug and/or alcohol dependent • The offender must be a Montgomery County resident • The offender must be convicted of an eligible offense
The offender’s diagnosis of a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) may limit their ability to particiapate in the program. The Coordinator may choose to refer an offender to Behavioral Health Court or another specialty Court.
Based on applicable statutes on June 3, 2005 of the Sentencing Guidelines, an offender with a current conviction or prior conviction within the past ten years for any of the following offenses is ineligible for county restrictive intermediate punishment:
• Murder • Sexual Assault • Voluntary Manslaughter • Aggravated Indecent Assault • Aggravated Assault • Indecent Assault • Assault by a Prisoner • Arson and Related Offenses • Assault by a Life Prisoner • Burglary • Kidnapping • Robbery • Rape • Theft by Extortion • Statutory Sexual Assault • Incest • Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse • Escape
THE PROGRAM Treatment: A team approach is used by program staff whereby Probation Officers work in collaboration with clinicians for the benefit of the participant. This aids in forming treatment strategies and identifying issues currently affecting the participant’s recovery. Anyone significant to the participant’s life such as family members, employers, friends, etc. is significant to the treatment team. Treatment needs are determined during the clinical assessment done on each participant prior to admission to the program. Needs are reviewed on a weekly basis and are often adjusted during the program as more is known about the individual’s risks and needs.
The full continuum of treatment modalities is available including detoxification, in-patient, halfway house, and out-patient at varying levels. Both individual and group therapies are employed since the aim of the program is to treat the whole addict not just the addiction. The Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (P.C.P.C.) instrument is used to determine the appropriate level of care. Funding for treatment is provided by private insurance, Single County Authority (SCA) funding, Medical Assistance, and Drug Treatment Court funding. Confidentiality is maintained by providers except where the continuum of care principle requires that information be shared.
Participation in a 12-step program/pro-social sober activites is also required of the participant. Participants are asked to have a home group and a sponsor in order to help them understand the 12-step program. The 12-step program is designed to help participants create a new life in recovery which includes a healthy and sober lifestyle.
Collaboration: In order to eliminate participant triangulation or playing one side against another in order to manipulate the program, there is on-going communication between the supervision team and treatment team. This approach is vital in maintaining accountability for the offender and is important in building responsibility and accountability which is lacking in the lifestyle of the addict.
Supervision: Supervision contacts with Probation Officers are made frequently in the beginning of the program to help create containment, a feeling of inclusion, assess attitude, and also to monitor compliance with program requirements. As the participant moves through the program, behavior becomes the chief indicator of the appropriate frequency of supervision. While the program has minimum contact requirements in each phase, the participant is seen more often, if and when, circumstances dictate.
A key component in the supervision of the participant is the court appearance. Judicial supervision is essential in keeping the participant focused on the ultimate goal, long-term sobriety. In the beginning of the program, the court appearance will be scheduled weekly and will be lessened or increased. Judicial supervision is done on a declining basis based on the participant’s performance in the program.
Testing and Accountability: Substance abuse testing is considered a cornerstone of the program. The program’s substance abuse testing policy is based on a random and frequent testing system. Each participant is directed to call a random testing phone line daily between 4 am and 9 am to hear if they are directed to report for testing. Upon finding they are directed to report for testing, the offender is to report to Adult Probation Department during the desigcated hours. All testing will be observed by a Probation Officer or drug technician. If the participant fails to appear, submit a sample, and/or dilutes a sample it will be considered a positive test for program purposes. All positive test results will be sent to the lab for confirmation and could result in further sanction.
Reconsideration Policy The Montgomery County Drug Treatment Court will consider all appropriate referrals on a case-by-case basis. During the consideration process, a myriad of factors are considered. Major emphasis is placed upon the offense as charged, nature of the offense, prior record, substance abuse history and how it relates to the offense, and the likelihood of success. This information is derived from police reports, criminal history inquires, contacts with arresting officer(s), the offender, and previous probation/parole records.
If a relevant party to the offender’s case (attorney, Judge, treatment provider, police officer, etc.) feels the Drug Treatment Court Team failed to consider a particularly important factor, he/she may make a request for the case to be reconsidered in writing.
The reconsideration request must be submitted in writing to the District Attorney for Diversion cases and Drug Treatment Court Coordinator for Recovery cases. The request must include supportive reasoning for reconsideration. Supportive reasoning is defined as mitigating circumstances pertaining to the crime, psychiatric/psychological reports that may not have been available for the initial consideration, or any other relevant information that can be placed in written format.
The decision by the Drug Treatment Court Team will be final.
PHASES OF THE PROGRAM The Montgomery County Drug Treatment program will last a minimum of 15 months, with the exception of Restrictive Intermediate Program (RIP) cases. There are five phases, each of which last a minimum of 90 days. The Restrictive Intermediate Punishment Program (RIP) will last a minimum of 21 months. There are five phases to the RIP program. Phase I is a minimum of six months. Phases II, III, and IV are a minimum of four months each. Phase V (wings) is a minimum of 3 months. As a program requirement, any participant who begins the program in an inpatient or halfway house level of care must complete each program successfully in order to be eligible for recognition toward phase completion.
Both Montgomery County Drug Treatment and RIP program have the same phase requirements. The most highly structured and demanding is Phase I. This is when internal motivation is often at its weakest and the most support is necessary. As progress is made requirements are gradually decreased. To advance to the next phase, each participant must complete a petition and submit it for review and approval by the supervision and clinical team. Please refer to Appendix C for a more inclusive list of requirements.
PHASE I • Participant is required to meet with their Probation Officer a minimum of one face-to-face contacts per
• Frequent and random drug/alcohol testing
• Attend and participate in treatment as directed
• Attend 12-step program meetings as designated by the Court
• Establish a home group and a sponsor
• Seek and maintain full-time employment or education
• Appear weekly for a Judicial Status Conference
PHASE II • Participant is required to meet with their Probation Officer a minimum of three face-to-face contacts per
• Continued frequent and random drug/alcohol testing
• Continue treatment
• Continue 12-step meetings
• Maintain employment or education
• Appear bi-weekly for a Judicial Status Conference
PHASE III • Participant is required to meet with their Probation Officer a minimum of two face-to-face contacts per month
• Continued frequent and random drug/alcohol testing
• Continue treatment
• Continue 12-step meetings
• Maintain employment or education
• Appear at their Judicial Status Conference every three weeks
PHASE IV • Participant is required to meet with their Probation Officer a minimum of one face-to-face contact per month
• Continued frequent and random drug/alcohol testing
• Continue treatment
• Continue 12-step meetings
• Maintain employment or education
• Appear for their monthly Judicial Status Conference
PHASE V (Wings) • Participant is considered “On Call” during this phase and may be called in at anytime for a meeting with
their Probation Officer
• Continued frequent and random drug/alcohol testing as required
• No mandatory probation or judicial contacts but the offender is expected to continue treatment, 12-step meetings, and employment or education
* Phase requirements are subject to change.
DAILY EXPECTATIONS A typical day for a Phase 1 participant will include: awaken between 4 am and 9 am to call the testing hotline to hear if they are directed to report for testing, report for drug testing; go to work or school; if not in school or employed, attend a combination of job training, community service, and actively apply for employment; attend a 12-step meeting; attend therapy (group and/or individual); appear in front of the Drug Court Judge in order to discuss his/her progress and compliance with the program on either Wednesday or Friday. This schedule is repeated daily during the Phase 1 in order to maintain the participants focus on sobriety. The aim is to fill the participant’s day with positive, recovery related requirements so that there is no time to revert back to negative former thought patterns.
SANCTIONS The program relies on a series of sanctions and rewards for offender behavior. The sanctions for non-compliant behavior are imposed to instill a sense of responsibility for one’s actions. Sanctions can be implemented for, but not limited to, the following behaviors: missed random urines; positive urine(s); diluted urine(s); missed appointment(s) with their officer; missed Judicial Status Conference(s); missed 12-step meeting(s); failing to attend and participate in treatment. Sanctions can be, but are not limited to, the following: community service; written essays; increased urine surveillance; increased reporting requirements; house arrest/electronic monitoring; GPS monitoring; alcohol testing/monitoring; phase reduction; incarceration. The level of sanction imposed can be determined, to an extent, by the participant’s performance in the program as well as the nature of the violation itself.
COMPLIANCE REWARDS (Incentives) Compliance with a highly structured and comprehensive program, as is Drug Treatment Court, is difficult. he participants in this program have been struggling with their addiction issues for sometime and as a result have experienced few periods of success in their lives. It is felt, that marking their successes in the program will promote a sense of accomplishment that has been lacking in their lives. Therefore, the program borrows a page from the 12-step methodology and recognizes successful periods, by marking time spent in the program, with compliance rewards. The rewards may range from: a handshake from the judge; public recognition for phase changes; officer and/or judicial appreciation; gift cards; key chains; certificates of completion; fines/cost reductions. The participants are reminded that it is not the monetary value of the reward that matters but rather what the reward symbolizes, which is a period of success in their on-going battle with addiction.
TREATMENT PROVIDERS After the admission of the participant to the program, the participant will enter and participate in treatment. The level of care is determined through the completion of the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (P.C.P.C.) and the review of the initial treatment assessment.
The participant will work through their private insurance company for treatment when possible. Others that do not possess their own insurance must go to the Department of Welfare and apply for Medical Assistance. The participant will then be referred for treatment at one of our approved agencies. For a current list, please contact the Coordinator.
DRUG TREATMENT COURT STANDARDS ON MEDICATIONS The Montgomery County Drug Treatment Court prohibits the use of narcotics or other prescribed drugs with potential for abuse even when prescribed by a physician, without the prior consent of the Probation Officer. Prior to use over the counter medications must also be approved for use by the Probation Officer in order to avoid any cross reactions that may result in positive drug tests. All offenders are apprised of these prohibitions prior to entering the program and are responsible for notifying their physician when being treated. It is necessary that the physician treating the participant understand and recognize their patient’s addiction issues. The program will work with the physician to meet the needs of the participant while accomplishing the goals of the program.
VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY DISCHARGE FROM DRUG TREATMENT COURT Drug Treatment Court is a voluntary program. The decision to discharge an offender either voluntarily or involuntarily is made by the entire team.
Diversion and Recovery Case Discharge Voluntary Discharge: A participant is free to request a voluntary discharge from the program at any time. However, Diversion cases are then relisted for trial. Recovery case participants are then sentenced on their outstanding charge of probation, parole, and/or intermediate punishment violation and will be incarcerated until hearing.
Involuntary Discharge: A participant may also be discharged involuntarily for violation of program rules and regulations and/or for new criminal charge(s). New criminal charges, above summary level that are either waived by the offender or held for court at the preliminary hearing stage, will be grounds for automatic discharge and will be added as a new violation to Recovery cases. The team may request a clinical reassessment to be completed to determine if they are clinically appropriate for the program. In the event of an involuntary discharge, Diversion cases are then listed for trial. Recovery case offenders are then scheduled to be sentenced on their outstanding charge of probation, parole, and/or intermediate punishment violation and will be incarcerated until hearing.
Restrictive Intermediate Punishment Discharge R.I.P. Discharge: R.I.P. is only voluntary when being admitted to the Drug Treatment Court. Participants sentenced under R.I.P. can only be discharged from the program through a violation, which may result in them being sentenced to a state correctional institution.
GRADUATION AND THE REQUIREMENTS Graduation from Drug Treatment Court comes after an participant has successfully completed the requirements of the program and has been promoted through the five phases. The decision to allow phase changes and ultimately graduation is made by the full committee and must be agreed to by the Judge. The requirements for graduation are: remain substance free for the last six months; successfully complete all treatment goals and create an approved relapse prevention plan; be employed or involved in a productive daily activity for the last 3 months; reside at an approved residence for the last 3 months; pay all fines, costs, restitution, and treatment costs; have not incurred any new arrests; completed all special conditions of their sentence. Participants in the program for recovery and R.I.P. cases who have completed all but the financial requirements may be allowed to graduate but will remain under Court supervision. Diversion cases will not have their charges dismissed until all obligations are met. Upon graduation, all participants are required to participate in the 6-month Alumni Phase. After completion of the Alumni Phase, The Restrictive Intermediate Program (RIP) cases will be required to remain under supervision of Adult Probation and Parole Department for an additional 6-month period.
OFFICER TRAINING Officers receive training of a minimum of 40 hours annually in topics related to addiction, recovery, Evidence Based Practices, supervision, and related topics. They are expected to stay current with trends in Treatment
Courts nationally as well as any changes or advances in the treatment of addictions. Trainings and conferences sponsored by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals are offered in order for the team members to stay current as well as from a host of other sources. Some of our local trainings are offered by: BDAP, DVAPPTC, MAGLOCLEN, departmental training, and from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
DATA COLLECTION The program realizes the need to measure the programs performance outcomes. The measurements are used to monitor the success and failures of program initiatives and objectives, and to give insight as to any necessary program modifications and implementations. Currently the program measures: ethnicity, gender, marital status, employment, education, community service, terminations, successful offenders, violations (new arrest and technical), and withdrawals, admissions, urinalysis, officer contacts and field work, risk and needs evaluations, incarceration days saved, and offenders in program phases.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER AGENCIES The program has formed a relationship with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in order to stay abreast of trends in the field. The program is also involved with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts in trying to enhance the sharing of information related to Treatment Courts within the Commonwealth. A variety of drug and alcohol treatment facilities are used by the program for the provision of in-patient, outpatient, recovery house, and halfway house treatment.
The program works with the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania Inc. to match participants in need with Certified Recovery Support Services. The program has partnered with the Southeast Pennsylvania Parenting Support Group to establish a Drug Court Parenting Support Group.
The program will continue to seek out partnerships with community resources that will aid in the rehabilitation of the participant while increasing the stability of the community.
CONFIDENTIALITY The Drug Treatment Court proceedings shall be kept confidential unless otherwise ordered by the Court. No information disclosed shall be the basis for prosecution of new crimes and no participant shall be required to testify to any information discussed or disclosed during Drug Treatment Court hearings. None of the proceedings, other than guilty plea, sentencing, termination, and contested sanction hearings will be held on the record. Participants will be asked to sign a waiver authorizing the transfer of information among Drug Treatment Court participating agencies and court-approved observers.
TRADITIONAL COURT CHARACTERISTICS VS. TREATMENT COURT CHARACTERISTICS
Traditional Court Treatment Court
Court Team of Judge, Prosecutor, Defense, Counsel, etc Drug Court Team created to achieve goals to support treatment interventions
Goal = Process case; apply the law Goal = Restore defendant as a productive, non-criminal member of society
Judge exercises limited role in supervision of defendant Judge plays central role in monitoring defendant’s progress in treatment
Interventions for substance abuse at discretion of the Judge Formalized and structured treatment interventions
Relapse may lead to increased sentence Progressive sanctions used in response to violations of Drug Treatment Court conditions
MontgoMery County Drug treatMent Court APPLICATION AND REFERRAL FORM
I am making an application/referral to the following Treatment Court:
Drug Treatment Court Behavioral Health Court Veterans Treatment Court (Please select only one)
DEFENDANT INFORMATION: Date: ________________________________
Docket Number: ________________________________________ Inmate Number: ________________________
Request Date: ___________________________________________ Social Security Number: __________________
Client Name: ___________________________________________ Phone Number: ________________________
Aliases/Maiden Name: ____________________________________ Date of Birth: __________________________
Current Address (Street/City/State/Zip): __________________________________________________________________
Permanent (last known) Address: ___________________________________________________________________
County: _______________________________________________ Sex: Male Female
REFERRAL SOURCE: _________________________ ________________________ ________________________ _________________________ Probation Officer Prison Judge Other Agency _________________________ ________________________ ________________________ _________________________ Phone Number Phone Number Phone Number Phone Number
_________________________ ________________________ ________________________ _________________________ E-Mail E-Mail E-Mail E-Mail
IS COMPETANCY AN ISSUE: YES NO
ISSUES SURROUNDING REQUEST:
Drugs Alcohol Mental Health Sexual Issues
Abuse Medical Reasons Anger Housing
Briefly explain issues checked above: _________________________________________________________________
History of trauma? YES NO If yes, explain: ________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________
In a mental health crisis? YES NO If yes, explain: ________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Emergency Contact Information:
Home Phone: ___________________________________ Cell Phone: ___________________________________
Who else resides in the household:
Name Relationship Criminal Record +/-
Are you a Veteran? YES NO If yes, what were your dates of service? _______________________________________________________________
What Branch of the military did you serve? ___________________________________________________________
Where did you serve? ____________________________________________________________________________
What was your rank? ____________________________________________________________________________
What was your military discharge? __________________________________________________________________
Did you serve in combat? _________________________________________________________________________
Highest level of education completed: 11th Grade or below High School Grad College Grad
Do you have a valid driver’s license: YES NO If YES, Operator’s License Number _________________________________________________________________
Occupation or Employer:
Employer Address Phone Number Supervisor
Marital Status: _____________________________ Are you presently involved in a relationship: YES NO If YES, with Whom: ______________________________________ Date of Birth: __________________________
Address: _______________________________________________ Are they in recovery: YES NO
How many children do you have: ______________
Name Age Other Parent’s Name Address
Do you have an AXIS I Diagnosis? YES NO If yes, complete the following:
AXIS I Diagnosis: ________________________________ Physician: ____________________________________
Attached Psychiatric Evaluation (completed within last 6 months is required for consideration)
Medication Dosage Prescribing Doctor
Phone Number: ________________________________________________________________________________
Please attach (if possible) any additional Mental Health information (Psychological/Psychiatric Evaluations), Medical Report, Criminal Complaint, Court paperwork and/or other information or comments.
What is the name of your Health Insurance Company: __________________________________________________
Insurance Policy Number: _____________________________________
Where have you attended treatment (please list all inpatient, outpatient facilities, and halfway houses):
Agency Address Therapist/Doctor
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