DRUG AND OTHER SPECIALTY COURTS
In recent years drug programming has taken on funding from a variety of different sources, from various Propositions and legislative initiatives and bills, to direct funding from the State and Counties. One option that has shown great success for addiction services is drug court. These ongoing court services are for those truly struggling with addiction and are reserved for those that have pending cases within a given jurisdiction and actually live within the court jurisdiction. A formalized process of screening and acceptance is required, and the programs usually take a minimum of 18 months to complete.
The benefits can be substantial and life-changing. Wrap-around services include therapeutic (group and individual), meetings with health care and probation, and regular court appearances and discussions. Various kinds of plea withdrawals and dismissals can occur upon graduation (PC 1203.4, and/or PC 1385), and fines and fees can be deemed waived. Sobriety and life skills to maintain sobriety are instilled, and I have had many clients successfully transition while I staffed Harbor Justice Center’s Drug and DUI Court.
There are other specialty and collaborative courts throughout California, and some of them include the Young Adult Court (YAC), Whatever It Takes (WIT) Court, Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Court, Homeless Court, and Grace Court (juvenile division).