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Ocean County Drug Court Handbook

Superior Court of New Jersey,Justice Complex
120 Hooper Ave. – Room 221, Toms River , New Jersey 08754

Vincent J. Grasso
Assignment Judge

Barbara A. Villano
Presiding Judge, Criminal Division

Margot Revera
Criminal Division Manager

WHAT IS DRUG COURT ?

The Ocean County Drug Court is a program which seeks to reduce substance abuse, crime and recidivism by providing intensive supervision, treatment and judicial oversight for substance abuse participants. The program is completely voluntary and gives each participant an opportunity to live a drug/alcohol-free life.

The Ocean County Drug Court allows certain individuals, who are charged with non-violent offenses, to serve a sentence of probation rather than a jail term. The Drug Court Judge will monitor your program participation and progress during the course of your regular court appearances.

GETTING STARTED

Following arrest, if you are eligible, your attorney will explain the Drug Court Program to you. If you volunteer to participate in the program and the Drug Court Team accepts you, your attorney will continue to represent you throughout your participation in the Drug Court Program. A drug/alcohol evaluator will speak to you to determine your best course of treatment.

At your first Drug Court appearance, the Judge will explain the programs requirements. If you decide to participate, you will enter a guilty plea to the charges and you will be sentenced to the Drug Court Program.

You will meet your Probation Officer in the courtroom. The Officer will explain the conditions of your intensive supervision and what is expected of you while in drug/alcohol treatment. You will be provided a date and time to report to your treatment program and the name of a contact person in that program. You will be required to sign a form stating that you understand and accept the conditions and strict requirements of the Ocean County Drug Court .

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

The program requires a commitment to rehabilitation that involves the following requirements. Failure to comply with any of these requirements could result in the imposition of a sanction, which could include jail time.

•  Compliance with all treatment directives imposed by the court and substance abuse evaluator.

•  Active participation in the Drug Court program for a minimum of 18 months.

•  A term of supervised probation from 18 months to 5 years.

•  Appearance before the Drug Court Judge on a regular basis.

•  Intensive supervision by a special Probation Officer while participating in the Drug Court program.

•  Mandatory and random urine monitoring as deemed necessary by the court, Probation Officer, Substance Abuse Evaluator and/or treatment provider

•  Participants must actively seek and then maintain employment or be involved in vocational counseling or job training program.

•  Regular attendance at Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous.

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

The Drug Court rules are simple and mostly common sense. If you follow the rules, you will be successful and achieve your goal of sobriety.

•  Be on Time – You are expected to be on time for all court appearances. If you are late, you may not be allowed to attend your scheduled treatment session.

•  Attend All Treatment Sessions – You must adhere to the program requirements for all treatment. This includes group and individual counseling, any educational sessions, and NA/AA meetings.

•  Dress Appropriately – You are required to be presentable for court and wear neat and clean clothing for all court appearances and treatment sessions. Clothing with themes related to drugs or alcohol are not permitted.

WE CAN HELP YOU !

Participation in the Ocean County Drug Court is worthwhile but not easy. As a participant you will receive plenty of assistance in order to meet all program requirements. However, you are responsible for your successes and failures. Probation Supervision and treatment providers will strictly monitor your progress. The

Drug Court Judge will review your progress at an in-court session and discuss both satisfactory and unsatisfactory adjustments.

You must note that failure to appear in court for a scheduled Drug Court session will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

WHAT IS TREATMENT?

All Drug Court participants are referred for treatment upon entry into the program. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the results of the drug/alcohol evaluation that was conducted at your interview. The evaluator will match your needs to a program that will best suit you. This program may be an in-patient treatment program or an outpatient treatment program.

Each treatment program develops a treatment plan with you at your first appointment. The plan will help you set goals and assist you in achieving those goals. The plan will be reviewed periodically and adjusted according to your progress.

Counseling is a large part of the treatment program. You must participate in different types of counseling sessions, whether it is in a group, by yourself, or with family members. Throughout the entire treatment process and the Drug Court Program you will be randomly tested for drug use.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I MESS UP?

Should you have difficulties and not stay on track during the course of your Drug Court program, the Drug Court Judge will decide whether or not you stay in the program. During the course of your program enrollment, the Judge will receive weekly reports from both your counselor and Probation Officer. The Judge may consider the following in determining your continued program involvement:

•  Did you appear for all of your court hearings?

•  Did you follow the treatment program's requirements?

•  What were the results of your drug tests?

•  Did you comply with all Probation Officer recommendations?

•  Do you have any new arrests?

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET KICKED OUT OF THE PROGRAM?

The Drug Court Judge will conduct a hearing and, if it is determined that you should leave the program, you will be sentenced on a violation of probation. A jail sentence will be imposed.

HOW DO I FINISH THE PROGRAM?

After you have successfully completed your treatment, complied with all conditions of your probation, met your own personal goals, and committed to a safe drug-free life, you will be recommended for graduation from the Ocean County Drug Court Program by both your counselor and Probation Officer.

Your family will be invited to attend the Drug Court graduation ceremony, at which time the Judge, Drug Court staff and others, will recognize your personal commitment, accomplishments and sobriety.

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