The court-ordered rehab process may vary by the state you’re sentenced in, but here’s a general breakdown of what to expect with these programs.
1. Offender Is Taken Into Custody
When a crime is committed and the person is caught, they’re arrested. They’re usually taken before a judge in a standard court setting.
2. Offender Is Transitioned for Alternative Sentencing
If the offender meets certain criteria, they can be recommended for drug court. At that point, they transition to alternative sentencing.
Any sentence the judge in traditional court would have issued is suspended or deferred for drug court proceedings, though they may be required to enter a guilty plea for the crime committed.
3. Offender Is Assigned to Drug Court
Every state has at least one drug court, as do some U.S. territories. Many have specialized bodies within drug court, like DWI/DUI court, opioid court, tribal court, juvenile drug treatment court, and veterans’ court.
When a person is assigned to drug court, the goal is to further evaluate their eligibility for entering court-mandated rehab. If found ineligible, they return to the more traditional criminal justice system process.
4. Offender Is Evaluated for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
If the offender is found to be eligible for treatment through drug court, they then become the central component of a team made up of the judge, defending and prosecuting attorneys, the parole officer, the caseworker, and medical and mental healthcare providers.
5. Judgment Is Issued
As part of the program, the offender agrees to have their rehab treatment monitored by the court. They understand that they’ll be required to submit to random drug testing often, make impactful life changes, and show up for court on a predetermined schedule.
6. Treatment Plan And Goals Are Determined
There are many goals that work well with court-mandated treatment programs. The offender works with a support system to address the root causes of criminal behavior due to substance use disorder.
7. Patient Begins A Drug Rehab Program
When a non-violent offender becomes a patient for treatment services as part of their drug rehabilitation, they have an opportunity to change their lives (and that of loved ones) for the better.
Throughout the program, participants will have incentives for completing stages and consequences for missed steps. Once the program is complete, there is often a graduation celebration.