Drug Court Coordinator: Carolyn Pence
Therapeutic courts are programs that offer a rehabilitative and treatment-centered approach to individuals charged with a crime who also suffer from a substance use disorder. The Drug Court Team consists of a partnership between treatment providers, the prosecutor, defense counsel, probation, and judges.
There are 2 therapeutic court programs in Island County: Adult Drug Court and Family Treatment Court. In drug courts, participants have been charged with a criminal offense (most commonly property and drug possession crimes) and have been clinically diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD). The prosecutor's office reviews incoming cases for a causal connection between the defendant's substance abuse and the current charges, and screens out those who have a history of violent offenses. Participants commit to the Drug Court Program, and if they successfully graduate, the drug court case charges are dismissed with prejudice, leaving them without a conviction on the drug court matters. The program takes between 18 months and 3 years to complete, and involves regular drug testing, SUD treatment and mental health counseling, community service, and involvement in recovery groups.
In Family Treatment Court, participants are the subject of a dependency action (their parental rights are in jeopardy) and have been clinically diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Family Treatment Court offers SUD treatment, as well as access to education and therapy to address parental deficiencies. If a participant successfully completes the program and graduates from FTC, the dependency action is dismissed and the parent regains custody of their child(ren).
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