In March of 2001 the 52-1 District Court implemented a
docket designed to address the growing problem of repeat drunk drivers. This
intensive probation program is based on a teamwork approach that involves not
only members of our probation and judicial staff, but also attorneys,
counselors, and other community members.
In November of 2013 another program was created based on the
same framework as our Sobriety Court program. Due to the rising number of
opiate overdoses and opiate related criminal offenses, the Court found a need
to develop a program dedicated to helping those addicted to opiates. In 2013, a grant was obtained from the State
of Michigan and this program was able to be started. In 2016, the program was expanded and retitled 'Drug Court' due to the rising need to help those who were identified to be struggling with the growing epidemic of prescription pill abuse. Drug Court is an 18
month intensive probationary program that participates willingly agree to participate in. During the first thirty days, the
participants are required to enroll and complete a thirty day residential
treatment program. While enrolled in treatment participants are able to start
to develop skills that will aid them in maintaining their sobriety once they
are released. Upon release, the
participants are required to test daily for alcohol and drugs for at least 90
days; attend AA or a similar 12 step support group meeting daily for 90 days, and participate in counseling. This rigidity was implemented to adhere to the National Drug Court Program Guidelines and best practices. It was this strict set of rules that participates who graduated reported allowed them to focus on sobriety.
The ultimate goal of Drug Court mimics the 52-1 District Court's other specialty court, Sobriety Court, in that it is to end a defendant’s recidivistic criminal activity fueled by their dependence upon prescription pill abuse, illegal drugs, and/or alcohol. To achieve that goal, all individuals within the program are held to a standard of absolute responsibility including a curfew and random home checks. As offenders progress in the program, and as the judge responds to their behavior through a phased system of sanctions and rewards, the offenders become increasingly responsible for their own behavior.
The goal of Drug Court is to assist those in the struggle
against addiction and help them make positive changes in their life. The agreement to participate is a good first
step. Upon completion of the Drug Court Program, individuals will have a
solid foundation to build on to maintain sobriety in a quality recovery