HERNANDO COUNTY DRUG COURT
- Drug Court is a court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program for non-violent offenders of certain drug related crimes.
- The defendant is required to plead guilty or no contest to the crime and appear regularly before the Court to monitor compliance with the conditions of the program.
- Frequent drug testing is required along with attendance at counseling and 12 step meetings.
- The program length is determined by individual progress, but will not be less than 12 months. Successful completion of the program may result in the charges being dismissed.
WHY WAS A DRUG COURT CREATED?
The goal of the Hernando County Drug Court is to unite the judiciary, law enforcement, treatment providers and the community in a program that allows eligible defendants to receive drug treatment and support services to foster and encourage their recovery from addiction, thereby improving their lifestyle and reducing crime.
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT AND SUPPORT DOES DRUG COURT PROVIDE?
If accepted into the Drug Court program, a defendant will receive three levels of treatment plus an aftercare program, if needed.
Level One Treatment is intensive outpatient treatment lasting a minimum of eight weeks. During this phase, each participant attends an orientation session. Psychosocial assessments and initial treatment plans will be completed. Participants are required to attend counseling and AA/NA meetings three times per week. Urine testing is provided a minimum of two to three times weekly on a random basis; and the participant is required to attend a Court Status Hearing weekly.
After successfully completing Level I treatment, the treatment plan for each participant is reviewed and specific goals are developed for each participant. The participant will continue to participate in counseling at least twice a week. Random urine testing is conducted once or twice a week and participants must meet attendance goals prior to progressing to the next level. Vocational and educational assessments occur to identify individual needs and to refer participants to specialized resources. Bi-weekly attendance at Court Status Hearings is required, as well as attendance and participation three times a week at a community support group, such as AA or NA. Level II is a minimum of 22 weeks.
Level III treatment is a minimum of 22 weeks. Regular participation is required during this phase in group or individual counseling, depending on the participant's needs as demonstrated by the treatment plan. It is during this phase that emphasis will be placed on case management and continued participation in fellowship groups such as NA and AA. Focus is given to the participant returning to the work force or other vocational needs, as well as for those who are dependent on family for housing, to encourage them to seek independent living. Level III treatment continues until the participant has met specific goals consistent with the treatment plan and has demonstrated a drug-free lifestyle. Group counseling shall be required a minimum of once a week, with regular random urine drug screens. All services and frequency of contact depends on the overall progress of the participant.
HOW CAN I BECOME A PARTICIPANT IN DRUG COURT?
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime and feel you can benefit from the Hernando County Drug Court Program, you can obtain an application form from the Hernando County Jail, from the office of the Public Defender or from the office of the Alternative Courts Coordinator at the Hernando County Courthouse. The completed application must be filed with the Alternative Courts Coordinator at the Courthouse. Your application will be considered and, if you qualify for the program, you will be scheduled for a hearing before the judge assigned to preside over Drug Court.
For additional information about the Hernando County Drug Court program, contact:
ALTERNATIVE COURTS COORDINATOR
20 N Main Street - Room 242
Brooksville, FL 34601