What to know About Court Ordered Drug Treatment Programs
A court-appointed rehab is sometimes offered by the judge for sentenced individuals instead of serving a jail sentence. This program is part of a goal of the justice system to help people who struggle with drug addiction to overcome their dependency issues and successfully integrate back into society. There are some conditions before an individual is eligible for a court-ordered rehabilitation.
Programs provided by drug courts may help an addicted individual:
- Finish the rehab program recommended by the therapist or physician
- Participate in regular and random drug testing
- In working with a drug court judge to make sure they follow all the conditions and obligations
- To complete all court schedules as well as appearances
- Obtain incentives for any form of progress or a reprimand if they miss an appointment or required obligation
Those who committed a drug-related crime may avail of this alternative restorative program. In effect, the court acknowledges that the violators are not in full control of their mental faculties when they committed the crime. If people are abusing alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to commit a crime in their attempt to obtain more drugs due to satisfy their addiction.
However, the probability of participating in the drug court will depend on the severity of the crime. People who commit a violent crime will likely end up in jail. Many non-violent crimes are classified as minor offenses, which might be a direct cause of the strong craving coupled with the impaired judgment.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 2 in 10 of federal and state inmates admitted that they committed a crime in their attempt to obtain drugs. Although most people have the perception that addicted individuals become violent, the data showed otherwise. In fact, in the 20 years from 1987 to 2007, the link between drugs and homicide cases not even exceeded 7.5%, which is a small percentage. Most of the crimes committed were opportunistic, which means they usually steal or rob to get money to sustain an addiction. Of course, it should also be noted that inmates might have not been truthful in answering the survey questions.
The court-appointed rehab, therefore, should be seen as an opportunity to restart life free from addiction. You are given a second chance to rebuild your life and start over. Lockdown rehab will not only clear your system of drugs and alcohol but will also teach you life skills, coping mechanisms, and aftercare services to increase your chances of remaining sober after you finish the program.
The drug court is a specialized court which handles cases involving drug-induced crimes, including driving under the influence, and veterans suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder. It also handles cases involving juvenile defenders, as well as parents with substance abuse problems.
According to the National Institute of Justice, there were about 3,000 drug courts in the United States in 2015. Half of the 3,000 courts handled adult’s cases, while about 16% are juvenile cases. However, the program itself involves multiple stakeholders. The person who has been given another chance at redemption should not take it for granted. For every one drug dependent who is ordered to undergo a court-ordered rehab treatment, there are hundreds of others who get swallowed by the system and remained in correctional facilities along with other hardcore inmates.
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals still believes that the drug courts are still one of the most effective mechanisms to give people with a substance abuse disorder. The group said that based on research, the court ordered drug treatment has been a successful intervention program to help:
- Stop or cut down the drug abuse
- Stop or cut down the crimes in the community
- Help improve the lives of the program beneficiaries
- Help stop broken families
- Improve the lives of the children
Technically yes. You won’t have to go to jail if you go to rehab as the judge ordered. But you have to meet the minimum requirements before you will be eligible for a court-ordered drug treatment program.
- The crime you committed is non-violent
- You are qualified for probation
- The crime you committed was directly or indirectly due to your drug addiction
- The judge thinks that drug rehab would be the best path for you
- You have to plead guilty to the crime
- You have to be prepared to follow all the conditions
You do not have to participate in drug courts to get court-ordered rehab. However, if you do participate in this court, you must plead guilty to the crime for which you were charged, meet all the above requirements, and agree to complete a rehab program.
A typical drug or alcohol rehab program will last from 30 days, 60 days, up to 90 days. However, with complications, such as the severity of the addiction or the presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder, you may stay in the inpatient rehab facility for six months to a year.
The lockdown rehab facilities for court-ordered rehab, however, will last at least 12 months. But it’s not uncommon for the term to extend to 24 months.
Remember that even if you are not in prison, your time is still not entirely yours, unlike with regular rehab where the patients technically can leave the facility anytime. You also have to comply with some of the requirements specified in your sentence. For instance, you need to regularly check in with your monitoring officer, complete abstinence from illicit substances, subject yourself to random and regular drug testing, participate in all sessions, and render community service, if applicable.
Sentencing a convicted individual to attend court-ordered rehabilitation in lieu of prison is just a small part of the duty of the drug courts. For instance, they are also tasked to oversee the monitoring of the concerned individual, ensure that all criteria and conditions are met, order drug screenings, make sure the offender will complete the training and education programs, manage all the stakeholders to ensure that everybody is on the same page.
This is called the Drug Court Model and every drug courts adhere to its guidelines. The main purpose, of course, is to help the individual get his life back.
Other drug intervention programs ordered by the court. Instead of an outright rehab, some judges will order the offender to undergo other interventions instead. Among these are:
- Accelerated pre-trial rehab program
- Alcohol and drug addiction education program
- Community service
If the court orders the offender to undergo rehab instead of jail time, who pays for the cost of treatment? You should be aware that the rehab treatment is not free. The court will order you to pay for the cost of the treatment. Inpatient treatment programs will cost you from $6,000 up to $60,000 from the 30-day program to the 90-day program, respectively. Outpatient programs, meanwhile, will cost from $5,000 to $10,000.
If you have insurance, it may cover some of the costs of the court-ordered treatment for substance abuse. As you may know, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare modified the parameters for mental illness and substance abuse treatment. The law required insurers to put in the insurance marketplace affordable plans to cover preexisting conditions and drug or alcohol abuse. If you don’t have insurance, there are still options for you to defray some of the costs. For instance, veterans may avail of the financial support offered by the government so they can get the help that they need.
Also, private facilities also have their own in-house financing programs where the patient may pay the total cost in installment terms. Another method of this financing plan is for the rehab facility to defer the collection of payment until you have finished the program. So, if you are asking “Who pays for court-ordered rehab?”, this information should provide you with the needed answer.
The fallacy that rehab treatment needs to be voluntary in order to work still exists even today. This is the same argument pushed by some sectors which questioned the effectiveness of the sending an offender to a locked down drug rehabilitation facility and threatening him with jail if he doesn’t comply. So yes, even if it’s against the individual’s will, the court-appointed rehab does work.
The paper presented to the Office of the National Drug Control Policy’s Conference of Scholars and Policy Makers back in 1998 concluded that coercive rehab programs do work if only for the shock value. Of course, you can’t expect a 100% success rate. The paper’s title was “The Effectiveness of Coerced Treatment for Drug Abusing Offenders.”