Members of Drug Treatment Court teams from the 24th Judicial District attend the 2022 National Association of Drug Court Professionals Conferencee.
What is Recovery Court (Drug Treatment Court)?
DTC is a court-supervised, post-sentence treatment program for non-violent defendants and is designed to identify and treat participants whose justice involvement is related to substance use.
DTC is overseen by a team made up of a presiding judge, court professionals, and community agency representatives.
The program lasts a minimum of one year and includes drug testing, individual and group counseling, case management, attendance at community support meetings, and court appearances before a designated judge.
Avery County DTC Graduate, pictured with members of the DTC team.
The mission of the 24th Judicial District Drug Treatment Courts is to reduce substance use related deaths and crimes by identifying people who use substances, providing effective treatment, and monitoring compliance. This will reduce societal costs by providing alternatives to incarceration, encouraging family preservation, and holding participants accountable, thereby allowing them to become productive members of society.
DTC fosters recovery and saves lives.
According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the average national treatment completion rate for treatment courts is nearly 60%, approximately two-thirds higher than probation.
Treatment courts advocate for the value of every human life and work to reduce stigma surrounding substance use disorders.
According to the NADCP, treatment courts produce benefits of $6,208 per participant, returning up to $27 for every $1 invested.
Drug Treatment Courts have led to further criminal justice reforms such as incarceration alternatives, diversion programs, and sentencing reforms.
MRJC coordinates and provides administration for DTC in every county in the 24th judicial district. This includes Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancey Counties. DTC expanded to include Madison, Mitchell, and Yancey counties in 2018 after operating in Avery and Watauga Counties for over a decade. These Drug Treatment Courts make up over a fourth of the Drug Treatment Courts that currently exist in North Carolina!
What happens in DTC?
Over 12-24 months participants will move through four phases before completing and graduating from the program. These four phases require regular meetings with their case manager, probation officer, and treatment group. Participants will have bi-weekly court sessions and random drug screens. Participants have access to services such as inpatient/outpatient treatment, 12 step programs, GED and continuing education services, employment referral assistance, community services referral assistance, and more.
Mitchell County DTC Graduate, pictured with members of the DTC team.