Delaware County Treatment Court
Delaware County’s Drug Treatment Court is a voluntary intensive drug treatment program, separated into five (5) phases of supervision, that allows non-violent offenders to address substance abuse disorder and co-occurring disorders while under the strict supervision of the Office of Adult Probation and Parole Services and the Treatment Court Judge.
The mission of the Delaware County Drug Treatment Court is to enhance public safety through the reduction of recidivism by coordinating effective and accountable substance abuse treatment and supportive services for offenders with substance abuse disorder. The Delaware County Treatment Court creates opportunities for individuals to improve their quality of life through a collaborative effort between the court, treatment providers, concerned community organizations, and law enforcement. Ultimately, the accountability for participants leads to a path of reduced recidivism and a life of recovery.
Drug Treatment Court is a thirty (30) month intermediate punishment program for non-violent level one (1) through four (4) offenders (determined by the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines, 204 Pa. Code § 303, et al.) with an alcohol and/or drug addiction that has resulted in arrest any may include a violation of county probation and/or parole. Level 1 & 2 offenders are eligible for a Track I disposition. Level 3 & 4 offenders are eligible for a Track II disposition. Additionally, 2nd offense* DUI offenders and minimum threshold felony drug* offenders may be eligible for a Track II disposition.
Participants (in both tracks) will be offered treatment, housing, vocational training, and relapse prevention modalities instead of jail. Participants are expected to attend treatment for the entirety of the program. The participant will be expected to obtain employment and/or pursue educational/vocational studies while in the program.
PROCESS: Applicants must waive the preliminary hearing and immediately submit an application for the Drug Treatment Court Program. Applications with an attached copy of the criminal complaint shall be emailed to the District Attorney’s Office and the Treatment Court Coordinator (email addresses located within application). Contingent offers for admission into the program will be made by the District Attorney’s Office. Applicants will be scheduled for an evaluation (usually within 10 days) to determine eligibility. Accepted eligible applicants will be scheduled for an admission hearing within two (2) weeks in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas before the Treatment Court Judge.
TRACK I (Level 1/ Level 2 offenders) POST-PLEA & PREADUJICATION: 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 Program. Successful completion of the Program shall result in the dismissal of the charges and the case will be nolle prossed. Failure to successfully complete the program and all the requirements for any reason shall result in the acceptance of the tendered plea and sentencing.
TRACK II (Level 3/ 4 Offenders) INTERMEDIATE PUNISHMENT PROGRAM: Applicants will enter a negotiated guilty plea to the Criminal Information that is filed by the Delaware County Office of the District Attorney and the offender will be sentenced to a period of thirty (30) months county intermediate punishment rather than a lengthy jail sentence as anticipated by the PA Sentencing Guidelines. Failure to successfully complete the program and all of the requirements for any reason shall result in a termination/ Gagnon II hearing before the Treatment Court Judge.
INCENTIVE: All participants are eligible for early graduation from Treatment Court (Tracks I & II) in twenty-four (24) months if all requirements are met and the participant has been drug-free for the six (6) months leading up to the twenty-fourth (24th) month of program participation.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Eligibility is considered on a case by case basis. To be eligible to participate, the defendant must meet the following criteria:
• Must be a Delaware County Resident at the time of the offense.
• Must have pending new criminal charges.
• Needs treatment for addiction and is motivated for recovery.
• Willingness to undergo strict court supervision for the entire program.
• Must undergo a Biopsychosocial evaluation to assess eligibility.
• No prior participation in the Drug Treatment Court Program.
• No prior/ history of violent behavior or weapons convictions.
• Object offense may not involve the possession and/or use of a firearm or any weapon.
DISQUALIFICATION CRITERIA: The following is a list that will disqualify an applicant from being eligible for the program. (Note: List below and appended to the application is not exhaustive and should be used only as a guide.)
• 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 other substances that affect the integrity and accuracy of drug screening and program participation.
• Defendant is charged with PWID/Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance exceeding minimum threshold pursuant to the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines or a 2nd offense.
• Defendant is charged with a 3rd or subsequent DUI offense or any DUI with injury.
• Defendant has been previously admitted in the Treatment Court Program.
• Defendant has a prior conviction or pending charge for ANY of the following:
• Crime of Violence (including Burglary of Habitation)
• Any case involving possession of a firearm or weapon (misdemeanor or felony)
• Sexually based offenses and crimes against children
• PWID/Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance
HOW TO APPLY:
1. Download application and review all program requirements and eligibility criteria with defense counsel.
2. Complete the application (attached pages 4, 5 & 6) and submit via email to the District Attorney’s Office and the Program Coordinator.
3. The application will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office and defense counsel will receive a response from the District Attorney’s Office advising if the applications has been accepted and if the defendant meets eligibility criteria.
4. Accepted applicants will then receive a notice to appear for a biopsychosocial evaluation to determine final eligibility.
5. Eligible applicants will receive a notice to appear at an admission/plea hearing before the Treatment Court Program judge only after completing the biopsychosocial evaluation.
SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION:
1. Application (pages 4, 5 & 6 only) shall be completed by the applicant and defense counsel.
2. Application must include an attached copy of the criminal complaint of the pending criminal case for which the defendant is seeking admission into the Treatment Court Program.
3. Application submitted without the criminal complaint and supporting affidavit of probable cause attached will not be considered.
4. Application SHALL be submitted by e-mail to the attention of each person listed below:
Sharon H. McKenna, Deputy District Attorney, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office
Linda Barbera, Program Coordinator, Delaware County Probation and Parole Services
5. Application will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office to determine eligibility. Defense counsel will receive a response from the District Attorney’s Office advising if the applications has been accepted and if the defendant meets eligibility criteria.
6. If the application is accepted, then the candidate will be immediately scheduled for a biopsychosocial evaluation for the program through the Office of Adult Probation & Parole Services.
7. Eligible candidates with approved evaluations will be scheduled for a plea/admission hearing before the Common Pleas Treatment Court Judge.