Overview of Drug Courts in Texas Legislative Budget Board

Document Sample
Overview of Drug Courts in Texas Legislative Budget Board Powered By Docstoc
					Overview of Drug Courts in Texas




     Criminal Justice Policy Council
              January 2002




          Tony Fabelo, Ph.D.
          Executive Director
Overview of Drug Courts in Texas




To view or download this report, visit our website at
              www.cjpc.state.tx.us




       Criminal Justice Policy Council
              P.O. Box 13332
         Austin, Texas 78711-3332
              (512) 463-1810
                              Researched and Written By:

                                  Alma I. Martinez
                                  Michael Eisenberg




This project was supported in part by Award No. 2001-BJ-CX-K011, from the U.S.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The
opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are
those of the Criminal Justice Policy Council and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the U.S. Department of Justice.
                              Note from the Director


       This report presents an overview of drug treatment courts in Texas. The Texas
Legislature in 2001 mandated the creation of drug courts in counties with populations of more
than 550,000. The legislature also mandated the Criminal Justice Policy Council (CJPC) to
examine the effectiveness of drug courts and make recommendations regarding potential
expansion and improvements.

        Drug courts were designed to provide court-supervised treatment as an alternative to
traditional criminal sanctions. The model for drug courts assumes that a combination of judicial
monitoring and supervised treatment can be more effective in reducing drug usage and crime
than treatment or judicial sanctions operating separately. There are over 600 drug courts in
operation in the nation. Drug courts were first established in Texas in Jefferson and Travis
counties in 1993. Additional courts have since been established in Dallas, El Paso, Montgomery,
and Tarrant counties. Under the legislation adopted in 2001, Bexar, Harris and Hidalgo counties
will now have to operate a drug court. The Legislature appropriated $750,000 annually for this
effort but this appropriation will have to be supplemented with other sources of funding in order
for drug courts to operate in nine jurisdictions. The budgets for the presently operating drug
courts range from $150,748 in Tarrant to $832,330 in Travis.

        Drug courts involve the judge and other court officials in a non-adversarial approach to
sanction, supervise and provide alcohol and drug treatment services to offenders. Offenders
eligible for drug courts are typically non-violent, first-time drug offenders or offenders who have
committed a Driving-while-Intoxicated (DWI) offense. In most programs, offenders volunteer for
drug courts. Drug court programs range in length from 12 to 18 months, provide court-
supervised treatment and involve the use of progressive sanctions to enforce program
compliance. Most programs have an initial period of tolerance for violations followed by a series
of escalating sanctions associated with program non-compliance. Depending on the court,
program graduation can result in dropped criminal charges, early release from supervision
requirements, reduced supervision requirements, or deletion of charges from the participant’s
criminal record.

         The drug courts in Dallas, Jefferson, Montgomery, Tarrant and Travis counties are
relatively small, with Travis having the largest program capacity with 300 clients in FY 2001 and
Tarrant having the smallest capacity with 55 clients. These courts operate mainly with federal
and local funds. The implementation approach varies in the different sites in terms of the
number of phases and duration of the program, the average number of contacts with court and
caseworker personnel and the types of services provided. For example, the Dallas program
requires 4 court appearances per month in the first phase of the program while the Tarrant
program requires 2 court appearances per month in the first phase. Montgomery county requires
the completion of stress management, cognitive-behavioral training and education and
employment services while Jefferson county requires participation in employment services and
life skills training.


                                                 i
                              Note from the Director


      National evaluations of drug courts have shown promising results in terms of lower re-
arrest and incarceration rates for drug court participants although studies with experimental or
comparison groups have been limited. The CJPC will examine in the future whether drug court
programs in Texas are operating as originally designed, and more importantly, whether the
recidivism rates of drug court participants over a two-year period differ from the recidivism rates
of similar offenders who did not participate in a drug court program. The evaluation will lead to
recommendations regarding potential expansion and improvements to be presented to the Texas
Legislature in 2003.




                                                 Tony Fabelo, Ph.D.
                                                 Executive Director




                                                ii
                                Acknowledgments


       Special thanks to drug court administrators and drug court judges who have helped us
with this report. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the help of Carol Todd and Judge
John Creuzot of the Dallas County Drug Court; Patricia Greenspan, Diane Magliolo and Judge
Joel Bennett of the Travis County Drug Court; Mark Jennings of the Tarrant County Drug Court;
Montie Morgan and Judge Vi McGinnis of the Jefferson County Drug Court; and Rusty Smith
and Judge Olen Underwood of the Montgomery County Drug Court.
I. Introduction
        Drug Courts Offer Treatment Alternatives to
          Traditional Criminal Justice Sanctions


                             Criminal Court                         Drug Court
Objective            Punishment                         Rehabilitation
Voluntary            No                                 Yes
Procedures           Adversarial                        Collaborative
Offender
                     Correction agencies                Judge, case managers, and counselors
Monitored By
Incentives for
                     None                               Vary by drug court
Compliance
Disposition
                     Offense & criminal history         Compliance with treatment/conditions
Determined By
Public Safety
                     During incarceration/supervision   During and after program completion
Enhanced
Drug Treatment       Infrequently ordered               Always ordered



•   Drug courts were designed to provide court-supervised treatment as an alternative to
    traditional criminal sanctions.
        Drug courts are based on the philosophy that a combination of judicial monitoring
        and supervised treatment can be more effective in reducing drug usage and crime
        than treatment or judicial sanctions operating separately.

•   The first drug court in the United States was established in Dade County, Florida in
    1989.
       As of May 2001, over 650 adult, juvenile, and family drug courts were operating
       in the United States.
       Drug courts were first established in Texas in Travis and Jefferson counties in
       1993. Additional courts have since been established in Dallas, Montgomery, and
       Tarrant counties. El Paso county began operating a drug court in August 2001.

•   The 77th Legislature, in House Bill 1287, authorized county Commissioner’s Courts
    to establish drug courts for persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain
    drug or alcohol offenses.
        HB 1287 directs the Criminal Justice Policy Council to conduct a study examining
        “the effectiveness of presently operating drug court programs and make
        recommendations regarding potential expansion and improvements”.




                                              3
    The 77th Legislature Mandated the Creation of Drug
     Courts in Counties with Populations of More Than
                          550,000

                                   Existing              Drug Court                County
     County
                                  Drug Court             Mandated                Population*
     Bexar                             No                     Yes                 1,392,931
     Dallas                            Yes                    Yes                 2,218,899
     El Paso                          Yes**                   Yes                  679,622
     Harris                            No                     Yes                 3,400,578
     Hidalgo                           No                     Yes                  569,463
     Jefferson                         Yes                    No                   252,051
     Montgomery                        Yes                    No                   293,768
     Tarrant                         Yes***                   Yes                 1,446,219
     Travis                            Yes                    Yes                  812,280
    * Figures from 2000 U.S. Census
    ** El Paso began operating a drug court in September 2001.
    *** Tarrant re-started drug court program in FY 2001 after funding lapsed.



•   The 77th Legislature mandated the creation of drug courts in counties with a
    population of more than 550,000 by September 1, 2002.
       According to 2000 census figures, Bexar, Harris, and Hidalgo counties will be
       required to initiate drug courts.
       Dallas, Tarrant, and Travis counties already had drug courts established prior to
       this legislation. El Paso began operating a drug court in August 2001.

•   $1.5 million was appropriated by the legislature for drug courts over the 2002-2003
    biennium. This money will have to be supplemented with local or federal funds to
    provide complete funding to all drug courts mandated under this law.
        Counties that do not establish drug courts as required by the 77th Legislature will
        not be eligible to receive funds for community supervision and corrections
        departments nor grants administered by the Criminal Justice Division of the
        Governor’s Office.
        Counties are required to apply for federal funds to help pay for the costs of this
        program.




                                                    4
    State Drug Court Funds Are Administered by the
    Criminal Justice Division of the Governor’s Office



                         77th Texas Legislature Appropriated
                         $1.5 Million for Drug Courts During
                                     FY 2002-2003




                        Criminal Justice Division Designated as
                           Grant Management Agency that
                           Issues Guidelines for Proposals




                          First-Year Funding of $125,000 per
                          Each of the Following Drug Courts:
                               Dallas El Paso Jefferson
                             Montgomery Tarrant Travis




•   The Criminal Justice Division of the Governor’s Office awarded $750,000 to six
    existing drug courts for FY 2002.
        The grant period runs from October 1, 2001, through September 30, 2002.

•   Another $750,000 will be available to drug courts for FY 2003. Bexar, Harris, and
    Hidalgo Counties will be eligible to compete for drug court funding in FY 2003, if
    they meet requirements specified in HB 1287.




                                          5
            Essential Characteristics of a Drug Court




            Screening                                          Continuum of
               and                                              Treatment
            Assessment                                           Services

                                   Integration of
                                   Treatment and
                                     Judiciary

           Weekly Drug                                         Monitoring
             Testing                                         and Evaluation




•   HB 1287 defines a “drug court program” as having the following essential
    characteristics:
       Integration of alcohol and other drug treatment services in the processing of cases
       in the judicial system;
       Use of a non-adversarial approach involving prosecutors and defense attorneys to
       promote public safety and to protect the due process rights of program
       participants;
       Early identification and prompt placement of eligible participants in the program;
       Access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and
       rehabilitative services;
       Monitoring of abstinence through weekly alcohol and other drug testing;
       A coordinated strategy to govern program responses to participant’s compliance;
       On-going judicial interaction with program participants;
       Monitoring and evaluation of program goals and effectiveness;
       Continuing interdisciplinary education to promote effective program planning,
       implementation, and operations; and
       Development of partnerships with public agencies and community organizations.

•   Federal funding for drug courts is often contingent on having a plan that incorporates
    the above ten components.




                                             6
Drug Courts Are a Response to Increasing Arrests and
         Incarcerations for Drug Offenses



                                    Arrests in Texas by Type of Offense
              Year              Drug              Violent            Property
              1990             59,405              31,526             125,341
              1991             58,566              33,343             126,560
              1992             65,946              34,739             116,840
              1993             69,413              33,757             109,425
              1994             74,953              33,269             108,301
              1995             77,394              32,306             100,343
              1996             80,005              31,549             99,957
              1997             88,362              29,680             96,119
              1998             92,081              27,986             86,414
              1999             97,103              27,223             84,246
             2000              96,646              27,013             82,795
           % Change
                               +62.7%             -14.3%              -33.9%
           1990-2000




•   The number of persons arrested for drug-related offenses in Texas has steadily
    increased between 1990 and 2000, while arrests for violent and property offenses
    have declined.
        Arrests for drug offenses have increased by over 60% between 1990 and 2000.

•   The number of offenders incarcerated in Texas prisons and state jails for drug
    offenses has increased 272% (from 8,988 to 33,477) between 1990 and 2000, while
    offenders incarcerated for violent offenses have increased by 204% (from 21,554 to
    65,484) and property offenders increased by 121% (from 15,142 to 33,499).
        The creation of state jails in 1995 and increased bed space in prison since the mid-
        1990’s have allowed for additional offenders to be incarcerated in state facilities.




                                             7
     National Research on Drug Courts is Favorable but
         Researchers Cite Need for More Rigorous
                    Long-Term Studies

                                    Drug Court Studies
                                                     Percent Re-Arrested
                              Drug Court          Drug Court     Comparison    Follow-Up
        Author(s)
                               Location           Participants     Group        Period
    Deschenes, Turner,     Maricopa County,
                                                     31.3%         32.6%        12 months
     and Greenwood              Arizona
                           Escambia County,
          Truitt                                     12%            40%         24 months
                                Florida
                           Okaloosa County,
    Peters and Murrin                                26%            55%         30 months
                                Florida
                               Baltimore,
    Gottfredson, et al.                              22.6%         27.1%        6 months
                               Maryland
                            Tarrant County,
          Bavon                                      13%            17%         12 months
                                 Texas
                             Travis County,
          Kelly                                      38%            41%         12 months
                                 Texas



•    Research has indicated that drug courts offer one approach to reduce arrests and
     incarceration for drug offenses. Belenko (National Center on Addiction and
     Substance Abuse, 2001) has conducted a number of annual reviews of research on
     drug courts. He has summarized the findings of these studies and reports that:
         “Research on drug courts, in general, has found lower recidivism rates for drug
         court participants. Research using comparison groups show lower re-arrest and
         incarceration rates for drug court participants than comparison groups.”
         “Research conducting cost analyses indicate that drug courts produce cost savings
         compared to traditional adjudication.            Criminal justice costs (arrests,
         incarcerations) are lower for drug court cases compared to traditional
         adjudication. Drug court cases have fewer court appearance and jail costs than
         similar offenders not participating in drug courts.”

•    Researchers caution that, although these studies indicate that drug court participants
     generally have lower recidivism rates than comparison cases, the differences are
     frequently not statistically significant. They also note that many of these studies have
     a number of shortcomings including:
         Small sample sizes
         Evaluation of relatively new programs, some designed for low-risk offenders who
         will have low recidivism rates regardless of program participation
         Short follow-up periods



                                              8
II. Program Statistics for Drug Courts
                in Texas
                The First Drug Courts in Texas Were
                         Established in 1993


                                    Texas Drug Court Statistics
                         Dallas         Jefferson       Montgomery    Tarrant*   Travis
Program                  January           April          September   October    August
Start Date                1998             1993             1999       2000       1993
Program
                           150              150              200        55        300
Capacity
                        From Start of Program through End of FY 2000
Total Clients
                           364              856               70        54       1,129
Ever Enrolled
Total Clients              106              261               1**       0**       638
Ever Graduated
* Statistics for FY 2001.
** Program not in operation long enough for offenders to graduate.
Source: CJPC survey of Texas drug courts


•   The goals of drug courts in Texas are to provide court-supervised treatment to reduce
    drug usage, arrests and recidivism, and to lower costs in the criminal justice system.
       Costs can be lower as a result of diversion from prison and jail, reduced court
       processing, and lower recidivism.
•   Drug court programs range in length from 12 to 18 months. Common requirements
    of drug court programs in Texas include:
        Attendance at weekly drug court hearings presided over by the judge
        Participation in treatment, counseling, and AA/NA meetings
        Drug testing
        Meeting with case managers to review progress
•   Each drug court also offers services or referrals for other services that the offender
    may be in need of. These additional services/referrals may include:
       Family/parenting classes
       Educational, vocational, and employment services
       Referrals for medical or mental health services
       Life skills training
•   Typical staffing patterns of drug courts include a program director, judge, case
    managers, substance abuse counselors, bailiffs, district attorneys, and public
    defenders. In general, judges and district attorneys are not funded through the drug
    court.
        Case managers monitor client progress, place offenders in counseling, and
        recommend sanctions and phase changes to the program director and judge.



                                                   11
              Case Processing Statistics of Drug Court
                        Programs in Texas


                               Texas Drug Court Statistics: FY 2000
                        Dallas         Jefferson        Montgomery    Tarrant*   Travis
Screened                 124               170               94          54       651

Served                   222               205               70          54       625
Active at
                         119               111               62          43       324
End of FY
Unsuccessful
                          37               54                13          11       62
Terminations
Successful
                          61              40                1**         0**       95
Graduations
* Statistics for FY 2001.
** Program not in operation long enough for offenders to graduate.
Source: CJPC survey of Texas drug courts



•   In most drug courts, if an offender meets program criteria, drug court staff may offer
    the drug court option as an alternative to prosecution or traditional criminal justice
    processing.
        In general, offender participation in drug courts is voluntary.

•   Program eligibility requires meeting offense and criminal history criteria.
       Offenses that meet eligibility criteria in drug court programs typically include:
       possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, prescription fraud,
       and sometimes DWI.
       Some drug courts automatically exclude an offender from participating in drug
       court for certain violent offenses or prior criminal history.

•   A drug offense alone does not ensure eligibility; chemical dependency or substance
    abuse must be present.
       Offenders are screened to determine if they have a substance abuse problem by
       court staff or other agencies.
       Offenders screened as having a problem go through a more in-depth assessment
       process to determine the extent of their addiction/dependence and to facilitate
       development of an appropriate treatment plan.




                                                   12
       Drug Courts Are Funded Through a Number of
                    Different Sources


                             Drug Court Funding in Texas: FY 2000

Funding                  Dallas        Jefferson        Montgomery   Tarrant*      Travis
Budget                 $543,000        $451,714          $249,960     $150,748    $832,330
Expenditures           $368,000        $344,682          $251,870    $111,226**   $827,944
                                  Funding Sources During FY 2000
Federal                      X               X              X            X           X
State                                        X
Local                        X               X              X                        X
In-Kind                      X                              X                        X
Participants                 X               X              X                        X
Participant
                         $41,914         $23,247         $13,154        N/A       $53,356
Fees Collected
* Statistics for FY 2001.
** Expenditures are for first 11 months of FY 2001.
Source: CJPC survey of Texas drug courts



•   Funding sources for drug courts vary considerably throughout the state. Most drug
    courts are funded through federal, state, and local sources. In-kind contributions of
    probation staff, bailiffs, and judges, as well as screening and treatment services,
    contribute significantly to the operation of drug courts in Texas. Most drug courts
    also use client fees to supplement funding.
        At the end of FY 2001, some of the older drug courts that were funded with
        federal grants were nearing the end of their eligibility for additional federal
        funding.
        The drug court program in Tarrant County was re-started in FY 2001 with a Local
        Law Enforcement Block Grant after funding lapsed in July 2000.

•   HB 1287 provided that drug courts may collect certain fees from participants. These
    fees include:
        Program fees, not to exceed $1,000, which may be paid on a scheduled basis.
        Urinalysis testing and counseling fees, based on ability to pay, to cover the costs
        of testing and counseling.
        All treatment costs while participating in the program, based on the participant’s
        ability to pay; most drug courts contract with other agencies for treatment
        services.




                                                   13
    Drug Courts Use a Variety of Sanctions for Program
                    Non-Compliance



    Type of Non-Compliance                   Most Common Sanctions
    Test Positive for Drug Use               Community Service or Weekend Jail
    Absent from Caseworker Meeting           Community Service or Verbal Reprimand
    Absent from Court Appearance             Weekend Jail or Up to 21 Days in Jail
    Absent from Counseling Session           Community Service or Additional Counseling
    Failure to Pay Program Fees              Verbal Reprimand or Withhold Graduation
    New Arrest                               Termination from Program



•   Before each court session, the judge meets with the caseworkers, district attorney,
    defense attorney, treatment and other pertinent staff to discuss the progress of
    offenders appearing that evening.
        Information regarding each offender is openly exchanged.
        If the offender is not abiding by his/her contract, suggestions are made as to how
        to deal with the non-compliance.

•   Drug court programs in Texas use a number of graduated sanctions in response to
    program non-compliance. Most programs have an initial period of tolerance for
    violations followed by a series of escalating sanctions associated with program non-
    compliance. Sanctions include:
        Verbal reprimand
        Community service, with increasing hours of service required for repeat violations
        Increasing attendance requirements at counseling or AA/NA meetings
        Demotion in phase
        Incarceration in jail, with increasing days in jail for repeated violations; jail days
        range from 24 hours to 21 days or more in jail

•   Program compliance is recognized by the presiding judge in front of drug court
    participants through verbal praise, promotion to the next phase in the program,
    reduced program fees, reduced program attendance requirements, and finally, program
    graduation.

•   Depending on the court, program graduation can result in dropped criminal charges,
    early release from supervision requirements, reduced supervision requirements, or
    expungement of charges from the participant’s criminal record.




                                             14
III. Program Components of Drug
         Courts in Texas
     Overview of Dallas County DIVERT Drug Court



                               Dallas Drug Court Program
                                                                 Average Contacts
    Phase    Number of            Objective / Goals            Court      Caseworker
              Weeks                                         (Per Month) (Per Week)
     1          4-8           Orientation / Stabilization         4             2+

     2         16 - 18           Intensive Treatment              2             1+

     3           20            Transition / Graduation            2             1+



•   The Dallas DIVERT (Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment) Drug
    Court is administered by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and targets pre-
    indictment felony offenders eligible for pre-trial release who are charged with the
    following offenses:
        Possession of Controlled Substance less than 1 gram
        Possession of Marijuana, more than 4 oz. but less than 5 lbs.
        Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud

•   Only first-time offenders are eligible.
       Offenders charged with delivery, or manufacture, of drugs are not eligible for the
       program.
       Offenders who have a history of assault are also excluded from the program.
       Offenders charged with DWI are not allowed to participate.

•   The program is designed to last 12 to 18 months. In addition to the general
    requirements that each drug court shares, DIVERT court participants must also
    complete the following in order to successfully graduate:
       Participation in educational and employment services
       Substance abuse education

•   Successful program completers have their case dismissed.

•   If the offender unsuccessfully terminates from the program, the case is presented for
    prosecution of charges and can result in conviction and/or incarceration.




                                             17
                   Overview of El Paso Drug Court



                              El Paso Drug Court Program
                                                                 Average Contacts
    Phase    Number of           Objective / Goals             Court      Caseworker
              Weeks                                         (Per Month) (Per Week)
     1           16                 Stabilization                4              1

     2           24              Abstinent Lifestyle             2              1

     3           32            Transition / Graduation           1              1



•   The El Paso drug court program, known as the 243rd Judicial District Felony Drug
    Court Program, began operating in September 2001. The program is currently
    operating with existing county resources while funding is being sought.
       As of September 2001, the program had 3 participants.
       The program targets post-indictment felony offenders on community supervision
       or offenders indicted for offenses involving a controlled substance or marijuana.
       Offenders charged with DWI are eligible to participate.

•   Offenders with a criminal history of violence or use of a weapon are not eligible to
    participate.

•   The program is designed to last a minimum of 18 months. The following
    requirements must also be completed in order to successfully graduate from the
    program:
       Employment and educational services for offenders without a GED or HS diploma
       Life skills training
•   Successful completion of the program can lead to consideration of early discharge
    from community supervision.
•   If sanctions have been exhausted, the participant refuses to comply with program
    goals or becomes a supervision risk, the case will be referred back to the district
    attorney for prosecution of the offense that led to drug court referral and probation.




                                            18
Overview of Jefferson County Drug Intervention Court



                             Jefferson Drug Court Program
                                                                   Average Contacts
    Phase    Number of            Objective / Goals              Court      Caseworker
              Weeks                                           (Per Month) (Per Week)
     1            4                  Orientation                  2              2

     2            8          Disease Concept / 12-Steps           2              5

     3           16         Prevent Relapse / Social Skills       1              3

     4           24                   Aftercare                   1              3



•   The Jefferson County Drug Intervention Court is administered by Jefferson County
    Criminal District Courts.
       The program targets pre-indictment, post-indictment, felony or misdemeanor
       offenders serving community supervision terms for possession of controlled
       substance.
       Offenders with a DWI offense are eligible to participate.

•   The program is designed to last 12 months. The following requirements must also be
    completed in order to successfully graduate from the program:
       Employment services
       Life skills training

•   Pre-trial participants who successfully complete the program have their charges
    dismissed. For successful offenders under community supervision, the supervising
    officer is notified which may result in reduced supervision terms.

•   Pre-trial defendants who unsuccessfully terminate from the program have their cases
    sent to the district attorney’s office for prosecution. If an offender is on probation,
    his/her supervising officer is notified and other sanctions or modifications of the
    terms of supervision may occur.




                                             19
             Overview of Montgomery County Drug Court
                          CARE Program



                                  Montgomery Drug Court Program
                                                                          Average Contacts
      Phase      Number of               Objective / Goals              Court      Caseworker
                  Weeks                                              (Per Month) (Per Week)
         1             2            Suppress Substance Abuse             4            3+

         2             2                     Motivation                  4            2+

         3            12                 Primary Treatment               2            1+

         4            12                      Aftercare                 1.3*           1

         5            24                   Extended Care                 1             1
    * Court appearances are once every three weeks during phase 4.



•     The Montgomery County Drug Court, CARE (Court Assisted Rehabilitation
      Experience) program, is administered by the County Commissioners of Montgomery
      County.
         The drug court program targets post-indictment, post-plea felony offenders whose
         offense is drug-related.
         DWI offenders are also eligible to participate.

•     Sex offenders and offenders with weapons charges or a violent history are not eligible
      for the program.
          Offenders are not eligible if they were currently on probation or parole
          supervision at the time the new drug-related offense was committed.
•     The program is designed to last a minimum of 12 months. The following
      requirements must also be completed in order to successfully graduate:
         Stress management
         Cognitive-behavioral training (MRT)
         Educational and employment services
•     Successful graduation results in the charges being dropped, the plea is withdrawn, and
      the conviction is removed from the participant’s criminal record.
          Continued drug use, failure to successfully progress in the program, or participant
          withdrawal from the program results in unsuccessful termination.
          Because participation in the program is post-plea, unsuccessful termination results
          in sentencing on the original charge.




                                                     20
    Overview of Tarrant County DIRECT Drug Court



                              Tarrant Drug Court Program
                                                                 Average Contacts
    Phase    Number of           Objective / Goals             Court      Caseworker
              Weeks                                         (Per Month) (Per Week)
     1         4 - 16       Assessment / Treatment Plan          2                2

     2         6 - 16               Counseling                   1                1

                               Complete Counseling /
     3         14 - 24                                           1                1
                                Relapse Prevention

     4           24                  Aftercare                   1                1



•   The Tarrant County DIRECT (Drug Impact and Rehabilitation Enhanced
    Comprehensive Treatment) Drug Court is administered by Tarrant County. The
    program originally began operations in September 1996. Federal funding was
    exhausted as of July 2000 and the program was terminated. New funding resulted in
    the program re-starting in October 2000.
        The program targets both pre-indictment and post-indictment misdemeanor and
        felony offenders.

•   Drug dealers and violent offenders are excluded from program participation.
       DWI offenders are not eligible to participate.
•   The program lasts approximately 12 to 18 months. Additional requirements needed
    for graduation include:
        Educational and employment services
•   Successful graduation results in the defendant’s early release from community
    supervision. Pre-trial defendants have their case dismissed by the district attorney.
•   Continued relapse, failure to attend counseling and case management meetings, or a
    new arrest are grounds for unsuccessful termination.
       Unsuccessful termination results in referral back to the court of jurisdiction.
       Failure for continued drug use usually leads to requirement of participation in the
       Substance Abuse Felony Punishment program, a 9 to 12 month treatment program
       in a secure facility.




                                            21
      Overview of Travis County SHORT Drug Court



                               Travis Drug Court Program
                                                                  Average Contacts
    Phase    Number of            Objective / Goals             Court      Caseworker
              Weeks                                          (Per Month) (Per Week)
      1           5          Orientation / Treatment Plan         4                 3

      2          14                  Treatment                    1                 2

      3          33                   Aftercare                   1                 1



•   The Travis County Drug Diversion Court, or SHORT (System of Healthy Options for
    Release and Transition) program, is administered by the Travis County Criminal
    Court.
       The program targets pre-indictment state jail felony offenders charged with
       possession of a controlled substance.

•   Offenders charged with delivery of a controlled substance are not eligible to
    participate.
        Offenders with a DWI offense are also not allowed to participate.

•   The program is designed to last approximately 15 months. The following additional
    requirements must be completed in order for an offender to successfully graduate
    from the program:
       Family/parenting classes
       Other counseling services
       Life skills training
       Education, employment, and vocational training

•   Offenders successfully graduating from the program have their case dismissed and the
    case can be expunged from their criminal record.

•   Offenders are unsuccessfully terminated from the program for absconding, a new
    arrest for a violent offense, or by requesting to leave the program.
        Unsuccessful termination results in indictment and prosecution of the offense that
        led to participation in drug court.




                                             22
    CJPC to Conduct Process and Outcome Evaluation of
                   Texas Drug Courts


•    The CJPC will conduct an evaluation of currently operating drug court programs to
     present to the 78th Texas Legislature in January 2003.
         The evaluation will examine process issues and report on post-release outcomes
         of drug court participants and comparison groups.

•    The process analysis section will examine whether drug court programs are operating
     as originally designed and highlight how any changes or problems in operations may
     impact program outcomes. Process issues to be examined include:
         Participant selection
         Adequacy of program resources
         Program completion rates

•    The outcome evaluation will compare the recidivism rates of drug court participants
     to the recidivism rates of similar offenders who did not participate in a drug court
     program.
         Recidivism measures will be based on the percentage of offenders arrested and/or
         incarcerated within two years of admission to a drug court program.
         Offenders included in this study will have been admitted to a drug court program
         prior to September 1, 2000 to allow for a two-year tracking period by September
         1, 2002.
         Recidivism rates will be calculated for all program participants as well as
         examining the difference in rates for those completing the program versus those
         who participated but did not complete.
         Comparison group offenders will be identified who have characteristics similar to
         drug court offenders but who did not participate in the drug court program. They
         will be tracked for the same time period.

•    Three drug court programs, representative of drug court programs in Texas, have been
     selected for the outcome evaluation. The drug court programs selected were chosen
     based on the size of program, years in operation, and availability of computerized
     data. The drug court programs that will be used for the future outcome evaluation are
     the Dallas DIVERT Court, the Jefferson County Drug Court, and Travis County’s
     SHORT Drug Court.




                                            23
                                   References



Bavon, A. (2001). The effect of the Tarrant County drug court project on recidivism.
      Evaluation and Program Planning 24 (2001), 13-22.

Belenko, S. (1999). Research on Drug Courts: A Critical Review, 1999 Update. National
      Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Belenko, S. (2001). Research on Drug Courts: A Critical Review, 2001 Update. National
      Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Deschenes, E.P., Turner,S., and Greenwood, P., (1995). Drug Court or Probation? An
      Experimental Evaluation of Maricopa County’s Drug Court. The Justice system
      Journal.18 (1), 55-73.

Gottfredson, D.C., Coblentz, K., and Harmon, M., (1996). A Short-term Evaluation of
       the Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court Program. University of Maryland.

Harrell, Adele (1999). Understanding the Impact of Drug Courts. The Urban Institute.

Kelly, W.R. (1996). The Travis County Drug Diversion Court: A Preliminary Outcome
       Evaluation. University of Texas.

Peters, R.H. and Murrin, M.R. (1998). Evaluation of Treatment-based Drug Courts in
        Florida’s First Judicial District. University of South Florida.

Truett, Rhodes, et.al. (2000). Impact Evaluation of Pensacola and Kansas City Drug
        Court Programs. Abt Associates.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:11
posted:9/19/2012
language:English
pages:27