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Young Offender Program

 YOUNG OFFENDER PROGRAM

OVERVIEW: Delaware County’s Young Offender program is a voluntary presentence intensive program for low risk first time young adult offenders that are currently charged with a felony marijuana drug case.  This program allows the young adult offender the opportunity to avoid a felony conviction and enter into an intensive program while under the supervision of the Office of Adult Probation and Parole and Young Offender Program Judge.  The Young Offender Program is an eighteen (18) month program for non-violent first time offenders who have been arrested for a violation of the Pennsylvania Drug Act, Possession with the Intent to Deliver/ Delivery/ Manufacturing less than one pound of Marijuana and Possession with the Intent to Deliver/ Delivery/ Manufacturing a Noncontrolled Substance (marijuana, THC and its derivatives, and synthetic marijuana), Title 35 §780-113(a)(30) & (35). 

Participants must waive preliminary hearing and immediately file an application for the Young Offender Program.  Accepted applicants will be scheduled for an admission hearing in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas before the presiding Judge of the Young Offender Program.  Applicants will tender a nolo contendere plea to the Criminal Information that is filed by the Delaware County Office of the District Attorney.  The nolo contendere plea held in abeyance pending the participant’s enrollment and successful completion of the Young Offender Program.  Participants in the program are expected to maintain employment and/or a full time educational program.  Successful completion of the Program shall result in the dismissal of the felony charge and acceptance of the plea and sentencing on the remaining misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance offense(s).  With the successful completion of the Program, sentencing will be scheduled just prior to the final 18th month of supervision and will require thirty (30) additional days of probation.  Failure to complete the program and the all the requirements for any reason shall result in the acceptance of the entire tendered plea and sentencing.

ELIGIBILITY:  Eligibility is considered on a case by case basis.  In order to be eligible to participate, the defendant must meet the following criteria:

•  Offender must be between 18-25 years of age at the time of the offense.

•  Amount of marijuana is less than one (1) pound or less than ten (<10) plants.

•  Pending criminal case must not have additional crimes (Title 18) or non-summary vehicle offenses.

•  No prior convictions.

•  No additional open criminal cases.

•  No prior participation in the Young Offender Program.

•  No history of violence.

•  Object offense may not involve the possession and/or use of any weapon.

•  Willingness to undergo strict court supervision.

•  Risk/ Needs Assessment shows offender to be “Low risk, low need.” 

•  Must undergo a Biopsychosocial evaluation to assess eligibility. 

•  The Biopsychosocial Evaluation and the Risk/Needs Assessment will determine if defendant is drug dependent and in need of treatment (e.g higher level of care).

•  If applicant does not meet DSM-V diagnostic criteria (e.g. not in need of intensive drug addiction treatment and/or dual-diagnosed mental health treatment) he/she will be admitted into the Young Offender Program. 

•  Alternatively, if the applicant meets the DSM-V diagnostic criteria for drug addiction and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder, the applicant will be ineligible for Young Offender Program but will be offered the opportunity to enroll in Drug Treatment Court when:

   (1) Higher level of care needed - these cases can be referred to Delaware County Drug Treatment Court Program – “Track II”, and

   (2) Defendant will be eligible for the same benefit of the Young Offender program but will be placed in a drug treatment track to address the addiction and any co-occurring disorders and additional treatment needs (that exceed the scope of the Young Offender Program). 

INELIGIBILITY:  (Note: List is not exhaustive. See attachment to application.) 

Defendant will be ineligible if the defendant has a pending charge for ANY other criminal (non-marijuana related) offenses, including the following: Crime of Violence (including Burglary), Crime involving a firearm and/or weapon (misdemeanor or felony), Sexually based offenses and Crimes against children , Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance (other than marijuana). 

Defendant is ineligible if seriously and persistently mentally ill which renders him/her unable to participate in the structure of the Young Offender Program.      

Defendant is unwilling/unable to terminate use of lawfully prescribed controlled substances and over-the-counter medications that affect the integrity and accuracy of drug screening and program participation.

Defendant has been previously admitted in the Young Offender Program. 

Defendant is unwilling to undergo strict court supervision

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

 1.     The Young Offender Program is an 18 month program which will require Delaware County residency throughout the eighteen months of intensive court supervision.

 2.     Must tender an open-nolo contendre plea to felony and misdemeanor offenses at time of admission into the program and the Court will take the tendered plea under advisement pending the defendant’s enrollment and successful completion of the Young Offender Program. 

3.     Report to probation officer on a weekly basis in first phase but will gradually reduce in frequency upon candidate’s matriculation through the eighteen (18) month program.  Frequency will increase if participant is not in compliance with the Program. 

4.     Report for court review hearing on a bi-weekly basis in the first phase but will gradually reduce in frequency upon candidate’s matriculation through the eighteen (18) month program.  Frequency will increase if participant is not in compliance with the Program. 

5.     Perform 180 hours of Community Service. 

6.     Mandatory Marijuana Drug Education Program (currently offered at Key Recovery in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania) or other approved 15-week Therapeutic/ Drug Educational Program.  Must attend and complete any and all aftercare recommendations. 

7.     Must obtain a High School Diploma or equivalent prior to completion. 

8.     Must obtain and maintain employment or full-time educational course of study and/or vocational program throughout the duration of the program.  If offender is unemployed, then offender must be actively seeking employment and verified through probation department on a weekly basis. 

9.     Submit mandatory random and frequent urine screens. 

10.  No new arrests. 

11.  Must remain drug and alcohol free throughout the program. 

12.  Must make restitution and pay court costs and costs of prosecution. 

13.  Must pay program fee required upon admission (waivable for indigent applicants).

 

Drug Treatment Court Information

Delaware County Treatment Court

Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court is an intensive drug treatment program that allows offenders to address substance addiction while under the strict supervision of the Office of Adult Probation and Parole and Treatment Court Judge. Treatment Court is a thirty (30) month intermediate punishment program for non-violent level one through four (1-4) offenders with an alcohol and/or drug addiction that has resulted in arrest or a violation of county probation.

TRACK I: Level 1/ Level 2 Offenders:
Targets non-violent Level 1/ 2 offenders with substance addiction and/or co-occurring disorders who have been arrested on new criminal charges and/or violation of county probation/parole. Participants tender a nolo contendere plea that is held in abeyance. Participants are then offered treatment, housing, vocational training, and relapse prevention instead of jail. Successful completion of the Program shall result in the dismissal of charges and expungement. Failure to complete the program for any reason shall result in the acceptance of the tendered plea and sentencing.

TRACK II: Level 3/ Level 4 Offenders:
Targets non-violent Level 3/ 4 offenders with substance addiction and/or co-occurring disorders who have been arrested on new criminal charges and/or violation of county probation/parole. Participants enter a guilty plea and are sentenced to a term of thirty (30) months of intermediate punishment and are offered the opportunity to undergo treatment through the benefit of an individualized treatment plan, housing, vocational training, and relapse prevention and avoid incarceration.

ELIGIBILITY: Eligibility is considered on a case by case basis. However, below is a list that will exclude a defendant from being eligible for the program. (Note: List is not exhaustive and should be used only as a guide.)
Must be a Delaware County Resident
Must have pending new criminal charges and/or Delco violation of probation/parole
Needs treatment for addiction and is motivated for recovery
Willingness to undergo strict court supervision

INELIGIBILITY: (Note: List is not exhaustive and should be used only as a guide.)
Defendant has a prior conviction or pending charge for ANY of the following:
Crime of Violence (including Burglary of Habitation)
Any case involving a firearm and/or weapon (misdemeanor or felony)
Sexually based offenses
Crimes against children
Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance with a weight mandatory minimum
▪ Prior conviction for Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
▪ Defendant is seriously and persistently mentally ill which renders him/her unable to participate in the structure of the Treatment Court Program.
▪ Defendant is unwilling/unable to terminate use of lawfully prescribed controlled substances or over-the-counter medications that affect the integrity and accuracy of drug screening and program participation.
▪ Defendant has been previously admitted in the Treatment Court Program.

Form Downloads:

Delaware County recognizes that addiction to alcohol, controlled substances and prescription medication is a growing concern within the community. Many addicts commit property and personal injury crimes to sustain their addictions. Sometimes, these defendants need additional support and guidance not available through the normal channels in the criminal justice system. To better address the needs of eligible chemically dependent defendants and to reduce recidivism among this population, Delaware County created the Treatment Court in 2007.

Since its inception, hundreds of defendants have participated in the Delaware County Treatment Court to attempt to defeat their chemical dependence. Currently, there are three tracks of Treatment Court with unique eligibility requirements.

Treatment Court is a demanding program that has five phases totaling a minimum of 30 months. The length of time in the Program will depend on how well a participant progresses. To move to each new phase, the participant must be in compliance with all Treatment Court requirements.

The Treatment Court Judge can impose a wide variety of sanctions to gain compliance with the Program including community service, house arrest and short-term incarceration of up to 10 days. If a participant fails to successfully complete the Program for any reason, the Judge will sentence the defendant in accordance with applicable law.

If you feel that you qualify for this program, you must act quickly

Interested offenders should contact their attorney immediately for advice concerning participation in the Program. If you decide to participate, you must submit an application as soon as possible to: Linda Barbera, Treatment Court Coordinator, Office of Adult Probation and Parole, 201 W. Front Street, Media, PA 19063.  You may submit your application via email using This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. after the same has been executed by the applicant.

For offenders with new charges, the application process requires you to agree to waive the preliminary hearing and your right to a speedy trial. If your application is accepted, then you will undergo evaluation for treatment and appear before the Treatment Court Judge in approximately 30 days for formal admission into the Program. If your application is rejected, then you will be scheduled for Common Pleas arraignment.

Treatment Court Applications are available in the Office of the District Attorney; the Office of the Public Defender; Adult Probation and Parole; the District Courts; and the Mental Health Liaisons at the prison.

Delaware County Treatment Court

Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court is an intensive drug treatment program that allows offenders to address substance addiction while under the strict supervision of the Office of Adult Probation and Parole and Treatment Court Judge. Treatment Court is a thirty (30) month intermediate punishment program for non-violent level one through four (1-4) offenders with an alcohol and/or drug addiction that has resulted in arrest or a violation of county probation.

TRACK I: Level 1/ Level 2 Offenders:
Targets non-violent Level 1/ 2 offenders with substance addiction and/or co-occurring disorders who have been arrested on new criminal charges and/or violation of county probation/parole. Participants tender a nolo contendere plea that is held in abeyance. Participants are then offered treatment, housing, vocational training, and relapse prevention instead of jail. Successful completion of the Program shall result in the dismissal of charges and expungement. Failure to complete the program for any reason shall result in the acceptance of the tendered plea and sentencing.

TRACK II: Level 3/ Level 4 Offenders:
Targets non-violent Level 3/ 4 offenders with substance addiction and/or co-occurring disorders who have been arrested on new criminal charges and/or violation of county probation/parole. Participants enter a guilty plea and are sentenced to a term of thirty (30) months of intermediate punishment and are offered the opportunity to undergo treatment through the benefit of an individualized treatment plan, housing, vocational training, and relapse prevention and avoid incarceration.

ELIGIBILITY:
Eligibility is considered on a case by case basis. However, below is a list that will exclude a defendant from being eligible for the program. (Note: List is not exhaustive and should be used only as a guide.)

  • Must be a Delaware County Resident
  • Must have pending new criminal charges and/or Delco violation of probation/parole
  • Needs treatment for addiction and is motivated for recovery
  • Willingness to undergo strict court supervision

INELIGIBILITY:
(Note: List is not exhaustive and should be used only as a guide.)
Defendant has a prior conviction or pending charge for ANY of the following:

  • Crime of Violence(including Burglary of Habitation)
  • Any case involving a firearm and/or weapon (misdemeanor or felony)
  • Sexually based offenses
  • Crimes against children
  • Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance with a weight mandatory minimum
  • Prior conviction for Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
  • Defendant is seriously and persistently mentally ill which renders him/her unable to participate in the structure of the Treatment Court Program.
  • Defendant is unwilling/unable to terminate use of lawfully prescribed controlled substances or over-the-counter medications that affect the integrity and accuracy of drug screening and program participation.
  • Defendant has been previously admitted in the Treatment Court Program.

Delaware County recognizes that addiction to alcohol, controlled substances and prescription medication is a growing concern within the community. Many addicts commit property and personal injury crimes to sustain their addictions. Sometimes, these defendants need additional support and guidance not available through the normal channels in the criminal justice system. To better address the needs of eligible chemically dependent defendants and to reduce recidivism among this population, Delaware County created the Treatment Court in 2007.

Since its inception, hundreds of defendants have participated in the Delaware County Treatment Court to attempt to defeat their chemical dependence. Currently, there are three tracks of Treatment Court with unique eligibility requirements.

Treatment Court is a demanding program that has five phases totaling a minimum of 30 months. The length of time in the Program will depend on how well a participant progresses. To move to each new phase, the participant must be in compliance with all Treatment Court requirements.

The Treatment Court Judge can impose a wide variety of sanctions to gain compliance with the Program including community service, house arrest and short-term incarceration of up to 10 days. If a participant fails to successfully complete the Program for any reason, the Judge will sentence the defendant in accordance with applicable law.

If you feel that you qualify for this program, you must act quickly

Interested offenders should contact their attorney immediately for advice concerning participation in the Program. If you decide to participate, you must submit a written application as soon as possible to: Treatment Court Coordinator, Office of Adult Probation and Parole, 201 W. Front Street, Media, PA 19063.

For offenders with new charges, the application process requires you to agree to waive the preliminary hearing and your right to a speedy trial. If your application is accepted, then you will undergo evaluation for treatment and appear before the Treatment Court Judge in approximately 30 days for formal admission into the Program. If your application is rejected, then you will be scheduled for Common Pleas arraignment.

Treatment Court Applications are available in the Office of the District Attorney; the Office of the Public Defender; Adult Probation and Parole; the District Courts; and the Mental health Liaisons at the prison.

Cases of Note

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  • Summer 2008 Cases
  • Winter 2007-2008 Cases of Note
  • Fall 2007 Cases of Note
  • District Attorney Keeps Murderer Behind Bars for 1980 Murder
  • Superior Court reconsiders decision, upholds child pornography conviction in the case of Commonwealth v. Anthony Diodoro
  • June 2007 Cases of Note
  • May 2007 Cases of Note

Information Forms

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  • MADD Permission Slip for Victims of DUI
  • Police Report Face Sheet
  • Restitution Form
  • Victim Impact Statement