is Drug Court?
Drug Court is an alternative to the traditional
court process. In Drug Court, intensive treatment, rather
than incarceration, is used as the primary means of coping
with drug use, abuse, and addiction. The Program is designed
to keep qualified applicants as contributing members of society
rather than requiring society to incur the costs of jailing
or imprisoning these applicants. Through Drug Court you will
receive treatment, specifically designed for you, intended
to resolve the issues that brought you before the Court, as
well as intensive supervision and interaction by the Court
and Drug Court team.
In It For You?
If you successfully complete Drug Court, you
will be a working, contributing member of our community rather
than in jail or prison. You will be able to preserve or restore
relationships with family and friends. You will be drug free.
Upon graduation from Drug Court, the criminal charges which
brought you before the Court will be completely dismissed
and there will be no conviction for these charges on your
the Down Side?
Drug Court is hard work. You will be required
to appear in Court frequently so that the Court may monitor
your progress. You will be required to report to the Drug
Court Supervisor as often as requested by the Supervisor.
You will be required to comply completely with the Master
Treatment Plan recommended by your Treatment Assessor and
implemented by the Court. You will have to work or be enrolled
as a full time student. You must remain drug free. You must
comply with all of the Drug Court Rules. Failure to do your
part will result in a sanction, which may include termination
from the Drug Court and imposition of your jail or prison
sentence. Your attorney will fully explain the complete list
of Drug Court Rules and Sanctions prior to any Application
to Drug Court.
Qualifies for Drug Court?
charged with the illegal possession of use of marijuana, cocaine,
controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia, or who is charged
with obtaining or using forged prescriptions, is potentially
eligible for Drug Court. Persons who are currently charged
with or have past convictions for sale or distribution of
marijuana, cocaine, or controlled substances are not
eligible for Drug Court. Individuals who have current charges
or past convictions for any crime of violence, including but
not limited to murder, manslaughter, rape, felony assault
or crimes involved the use or illegal possession of firearms
are not eligible for Drug Court. Additionally, Applicants
may be rejected for entry into Drug Court by the District
Attorney’s office or the Drug Court Team for reasons
particular to the Applicants case or background. Any Drug
Court Applicant who is rejected for Drug Court entry shall
be subject to the normal judicial process, and the Drug Court
Application and rejection shall not affect or prejudice his
or her case in any way.
is the Drug Court Team?
The Drug Court Team is a group of individuals
who review Drug Court Applicants for inclusion in Drug Court,
monitor the progress of Drug Court Participants, recommend
alterations to treatment programs, recommend appropriate sanctions
for Participants who do not comply with the terms of their
treatment or Drug Court Rules, and recommend graduation and
dismissal of criminal charges for successful participants
in Drug Court. The Drug Court Team is led by the presiding
Drug Court Judge, who makes all final decisions regarding
implementation of the various recommendations. The Drug Court
Team is also composed of other judges, as well as representative
from the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s
Office, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County
Work Release, Shelby County Commission, Treatment Professionals,
the Drug Court Coordinator, Drug Court Supervisors, and members
of the community at large.
Does it Work?
decide that Drug Court is appropriate for you, after discussing
it with your attorney, you will submit an Application to Drug
Court. If the Application is accepted, you and your attorney
will enter a Plea Agreement on one or more of the charges
against you with the District Attorney’s Office. The
Plea Agreement will include a jail or prison sentence, and
the Plea Agreement will be submitted to the Drug Court. Your
sentence will not be imposed at that time, but will
be suspended pending your completion of all Drug Court requirements.
If you complete Drug Court, a process that usually takes 12-18
months, your Plea Agreement will be withdrawn and all charges
will be dismissed. If you fail to complete Drug Court, you
will be terminated from the Program, you Plea Agreement will
be accepted by the Court, and your jail or prison sentence
will be imposed. The specific requirements for graduation
from Drug Court are set forth in the Drug Court Rules, which
your attorney will provide to you.