Individuals who commit a substance-related crime may be eligible for the New Jersey Drug Court program. Through supervised probation and substance abuse treatment, this program strives to help individuals with substance use disorder recover and achieve a crime-free future.
These are the most common questions potential participants have about New Jersey Drug Court.
Who can enroll in Drug Court?
To qualify, a person must have a diagnosis of moderate-to-severe substance use disorder and no history of violent offenses. The court will ask for a substance abuse evaluation and review your background. Your attorney can determine whether you are eligible and ask the court for consideration.
What does Drug Court entail?
Participants must complete four phases, each with increasingly less stringent requirements for court reporting, treatment and probation. Each person will set health and sobriety goals they must reach before graduation. Most people complete Drug Court within 24 months.
While in Drug Court, you must attend either residential or outpatient substance use treatment. You must also take regular urine drug tests and attend self-help meetings such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. In the first phase, you must report to the court once a week, and less frequently as you successfully move through the program phases.
The team assigned to your case can help you obtain or reinstate your driver’s license. Participants can also receive employment and education services. Some people may be eligible for criminal record expungement after graduation.
Does Drug Court work?
According to statistics from January 2020, 95% of participant drug tests were negative over a recent 12-month period. Only 6.1% of Drug Court graduates have another conviction within three years. Since the program began in 2002, more than 750 participants have had successful drug-free pregnancies and births. Nearly 250 graduates have regained custody of minor children. At the time of graduation from Drug Court, 89% of individuals have a job, 71% have a driver’s license and 59% have health care coverage.