Struggling with drug use may have wide-ranging effects on people’s lives, including causing them to have run-ins with law enforcement. For those in such situations, however, the traditional criminal justice process does not always help them to get back and stay on the right path.
According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the drug court program aims to help people abstain from the alleged criminal behaviors and avoid the issues that resulted in their arrests. To this end, it focuses on treatment instead of punishment.
According to the Blue Earth County Drug Court handbook, the drug court program consists of phases that participants must complete to graduate. The program has four tracks to which participants get assigned based on their risk levels and needs. While enrolled in drug court, people will work with defense and prosecution, case managers, treatment providers, probation and law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals.
Through the program, enrollees will participate in drug and alcohol counseling, attend self-help groups, and submit to random drug testing. They must also make frequent court appearances.
Participation in the drug court program comes with costs. In addition to chemical test fees and a monthly program fee, a supervision fee of $360. Participants must also typically bear the cost of treatment, which the program costs do not include.
Graduation from the program requires participants to satisfy all tract requirements, including remaining sober. Additionally, they must meet any other stipulations laid out by the court. Violations of the plan rules may result in termination from the program.
Facing drug charges may have a significant impact on people’s lives. Therefore, those charged with drug-related offenses may consider all their options to limit the fallout of their arrests and move forward.