NJ Court Clips: Drug Court

NJ Court Clips: Drug Court


Judge Grant: Welcome to Court Clips. I’m Judge Glenn Grant, acting administrative director of the courts. Court Clips gives you a closer look at the New Jersey Courts. In this clip, we’re taking a look at the Judiciary’s Drug Court program. Drug Court is designed to prevent defendants from slipping further into a life of crime by permanently stopping the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and related criminal activity through a collaborative effort of court staff and drug treatment professionals. Only defendants who are charged with non-violent, drug-related offenses can be admitted to Drug Court. Voice over: A Drug Court judge heads a team of court staff, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators and treatment professionals. They work together to support and monitor a participant’s recovery. The team maintains a critical balance of authority, supervision, support and encouragement. Drug Court is rigorous. It requires intensive supervision that includes frequent drug testing, court appearances and employment verification. It also requires tightly structured regimens of treatment and recovery services. This level of supervision permits the program to support the recovery process. It also allows the court to react swiftly to impose appropriate therapeutic sanctions or to reinstate criminal proceedings when participants do not comply. Once participants are admitted, they must attend treatment sessions as required by the court, report weekly to their drug court probation officer, attend in-court status hearings and maintain employment. All participants are subject to random and frequent drug testing to ensure abstinence. New Jersey’s Adult Drug Court is a post conviction program that seeks to divert offenders from custodial services. More than 93 percent of those participating in the program were sentenced to drug court instead of costly state prison time. Drug Courts began in New Jersey in 1996 when Camden and Essex counties started accepting participants. By 1999, additional programs were established in Mercer, Passaic and Union counties. In 2001, the Legislature passed a law that provided the Judiciary with funding to expand drug courts beyond the initial five courts. The plan involved a three-phased process resulting in the establishment of a statewide drug court system. By 2004, drug courts were implemented statewide Judge Grant: For more information about Drug Courts, visit our Web site, njcourts.com

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