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Adult Drug Court

The Office of Attorney General participates in the Rhode Island Superior Court’s Adult Drug Court Program. A prosecutor from the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit is assigned to the Drug Court.

As of the end of the calendar year 2013, the Drug Court had 102 participants - a significant increase over previous years due to an increase in grant funding for the unique program.

The Drug Court uses a team approach by combining professionals in the criminal justice system with the knowledge of the substance abuse treatment community to establish a closely monitored, individualized treatment plan for a nonviolent defendant struggling with addiction. The Drug Court holds the individual responsible for his/her past actions and accountable for future decisions. Since its inception, the Drug Court has been able to provide a mechanism for non-violent felony offenders that suffer from addiction to seek the appropriate level of substance abuse counseling, and ultimately adapt to a sober and healthy lifestyle.

The goal of the Drug Court is to integrate substance abuse treatment with the criminal justice system and divert nonviolent defendants from the traditional criminal court process to a forum where a therapeutic program is offered to assist the individual to modify behavior, improve their quality of life and reduce recidivism. Combining substance abuse treatment and other support services with close supervision by the Court holds the defendant accountable and gives them an honest chance to succeed.

Once a defendant is referred to the Drug Court, an assessment is conducted; the defendant is referred to a substance abuse treatment provider who develops an individual treatment plan. The Drug Court is in constant contact with the treatment provider throughout the defendant’s participation in the Drug Court to ensure they are staying on course with the treatment plan. During the course of treatment and involvement with the Court, participants are subject to random weekly drug screens and are closely monitored through case reviews. If all requirements and expectations are met, after 12 months of review, participants are provided the opportunity to have charges dismissed and corresponding court records sealed and expunged.

In 2013, the Drug Court saw 79 admissions, 22 graduates and 10 terminations. Of significance, the Drug Court had 102 participants as of the end of the calendar year, representing a significant increase in previous years due to an increase in grant funding for the unique program.