Drug 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.

Drug Treatment Court is a twenty-four to thirty (24-30) month 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, and 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. Track II participants are sentenced to probation with restrictive conditions.

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 will be 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) PROBATION WITH RESTRICTIVE CONDITIONS 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 of probation with restrictive conditions, rather than a jail sentence as anticipated by the PA Sentencing Guidelines. Failure to successfully complete the program and all the requirements for any reason shall result in a termination and/or a Gagnon II hearing before the Treatment Court Judge.
eatment 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.
  • 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.

Disqualification Criteria

  • The following is a list that will disqualify an applicant from being eligible for the program. (Note: List below and appended to 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, as determined by the Treatment Court team.
  • 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:
    • Sexually based offenses and crimes against children
    • Any case involving possession of a firearm or weapon (misdemeanor or felony)
    • Crime of Violence* (including Burglary of Habitation)
      *As used in this section, the term “crime of violence” includes but is not limited to murder or homicide, aggravated assault, *simple assault, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, arson, kidnapping, burglary of a structure adapted for overnight accommodation in which at the time of the offense any person is present, robbery, robbery of a motor vehicle, any weapons-related offense, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and sexual assault or criminal attempt, criminal conspiracy or criminal solicitation to commit any of the offenses listed above, or an equivalent crime under the laws of this Commonwealth in effect the time of the commission of that offense or an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction. *Simple assault will be considered on a case by case basis.

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. 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 notice to appear for a biopsychosocial evaluation to determine final eligibility.
5. Eligible accepted 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:

Salena Jones, Deputy District Attorney, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office
joness@co.delaware.pa.us

Linda Barbera, Program Coordinator, Delaware County Probation and Parole Services
barberal@co.delaware.pa.us

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.

PROGRAMS/INITIATIVES