The Arkansas General Assembly in a Special Session in May, 2003, authorized funding for a Drug Court for the 16th Judicial District.  Funds will be available July 1, 2003.  Staff members for the Drug Court Program will be hired and trained for seven (7) weeks.  The projected start date for the Drug Court is October 1, 2003.


          The Drug Court will first be implemented in Independence County.  Following a sufficient period of time to effectively establish the Drug Court Program in Independence County, qualifying participants from Cleburne, Fulton, Izard, and Stone Counties will be permitted to participate in the Program.


          The following information is the Handbook for a participant in the Drug Court Program.






You have been arrested for a felony crime and have been identified as a person who may have a drug problem.  You are being offered an opportunity to participate in the INDEPENDENCE COUNTY DRUG COURT.  This program is designed to help you get off drugs and stay off drugs.  If you successfully complete the program, the Court may dismiss the charges against you, based upon the terms of your plea agreement.


            This handbook is designed to answer questions, address concerns and provide overall information about the INDEPENDENCE COUNTY DRUG COURT Program.  As a participant, you will be expected to follow the instructions given in Court by the Judge and to comply with the treatment plan developed for you by your treatment team.  This handbook will detail what is expected of you as an INDEPENDENCE COUNTY DRUG COURT participant and review general program information.  All participants are encouraged to share this handbook with family and friends.




            The INDEPENDENCE COUNTY DRUG COURT Program is a court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program for nonviolent defendants.  This is a voluntary program which includes:

            1.  Regular court appearances before a designated Drug Court Judge;

            2.  Supervision by the Department of Community Punishment;

            3.  Treatment, which includes drug testing and individual/group counseling; and

            4.  Regular attendance at 12-step meetings (NA/AA).


            Following arrest, if eligible, you will be offered a choice between Drug Court or prosecution on the pending charges.  The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will discuss the Drug Court Program with you and your attorney.  Entry into the Drug Court Program is voluntary and will require that you enter a guilty plea.  While in the Drug Court, you will be required to conform to a Performance Contract, with specific terms and conditions, set out to govern your actions and responsibilities in Drug Court.  A Case Manager will provide supervision and enforcement of these terms and conditions.  Supervision will include unannounced home visits during which your person and residence will be subject to search.  The Drug Court defense counsel will continue to represent you throughout your participation in Drug Court.  The program length, determined by each participant’s progress, will be no less than one year.  Successful completion and “graduation” from the program can result in the charges being dismissed.  Failure to complete the program or termination from the program will result in immediate sentencing to prison.






            As a Drug Court participant, you will be required to appear in Drug Court on regularly scheduled dates.  Missing a court date will result in an arrest warrant being issued.  At each appearance, the Judge will be given a progress report prepared by the Case Manager/Coordinator regarding your drug test results, attendance and participation.  The Judge will ask you questions about your progress and discuss any specific problems you have been experiencing.  If you are doing well, you will be encouraged to continue with the program and work with your treatment team to determine further action.  If you commit program violations, i.e., positive drug tests or missed tests; failure to attend individual or group counseling, 12-step meetings, failure to report to your Case Manager, etc., the Court will impose sanctions.  (See SANCTIONS on page __).  After repeated violation of program requirements, and a failure to progress satisfactorily, the Court may impose the ultimate sanction of discharge from the program and imposition of sentence to the state prison.

            Failure to appear in Court on the date and time you are scheduled will result in a warrant for your arrest and incarceration in the county jail.  If you cannot appear in Court as scheduled, you must notify your Case Manager as soon as possible to explain why you cannot appear.  If you have any questions regarding your court appearances, you are required to contact your Case Manager.

            Arrest for new violations could result in your termination from the Drug Court Program and the Judge’s sentencing you to prison.  Other violations which could result in termination include:  missing drug tests, demonstrating a lack of program participation by failing to cooperate with the treatment team, failure to follow instructions of your Case Manager, or violence or threats of violence directed at the treatment team or other participants.  All final decisions regarding termination from the program will be made by the Drug Court Judge.




            As a Drug Court participant, you will be required to abide by the following rules:


1.         Do not use or possess any alcohol or other drugs.


            Sobriety is the primary focus of this program.  Maintenance of a drug-free lifestyle is very important in your recovery process.  The definition of drugs includes mood-altering prescription drugs.  If you are required to take any of these drugs as a result of medical treatment, then it will be your responsibility to provide a doctor’s letter to substantiate that fact.


2.         Report to the Case Manager as directed.


            You must be prepared to provide a urine test at each visit.  If you have any problem making an appointment, you are to call your Case Manager’s office.  You will be responsible for payment of all of your urine tests and drug screenings.  These payments will be made to the Case Manager’s office.


3.         Attend all ordered treatment sessions.


            This includes individual and group counseling, educational sessions, and 12-step meetings.  If you are unable to attend a scheduled session, you must contact your assigned counselor.


4.         Be on time.


            If you are late, you may not be allowed to attend your counseling session, and you will be considered non-compliant.  Contact your assigned counselor if there is a possibility that you will be late.


5.         Do not make threats toward other participants or staff or behave violently.


            Violent or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Court.  This will result in termination from the program.


6.         Dress appropriately for Court and treatment sessions.


            As a participant, you will be expected to wear a shirt or blouse, pants, dress, skirt, or shorts of reasonable length.  Shoes must be worn at all times.  Clothing bearing drug or alcohol related themes or promoting or advertising alcohol or drug use is considered inappropriate.  Sunglasses are not to be worn inside court or treatment centers unless medically approved.  Speak with your treatment team if you need            assistance with clothing.


7.         While in Court, remain seated and quiet at all times.


            It is very important to observe appropriate behavior in Court for the benefit of yourself and others present.







            As a participant in Drug Court you will be required to pay the cost of supervision and treatment.  Payment will be made directly to the Case Manager’s office in cash or money order form.




            Your treatment will be provided through a team approach with the combined resources of the Case Manager and the assigned drug treatment staff.  The treatment team will assess what level of treatment will best meet your needs and recommend to the Drug Court Judge that you receive either residential or outpatient treatment.  If you are admitted to a residential treatment program, your treatment plan will include the requirements of that program.  If you are not admitted into a residential treatment program, a multi-component, outpatient program has been developed which includes: 




            An initial treatment plan will be developed by you and your treatment team following an overall assessment of your problems and needs.  The plan will be a guide for your initial treatment phase; and within it, you will set goals, select methods for meeting those goals, and develop target dates for achieving those goals.  The plan will be maintained by your treatment team and will be updated as you progress through the program.




            You will be rested throughout the entire treatment process.  You will be tested a minimum of one time per week.  The Drug Court Judge will have access to all drug test results, including any failures to rest, and he may order a drug test at any time.  Tampering with the drug/urine test will cause the test to be deemed a positive test, and it may result in your termination from the program.  A positive, or “dirty”, test will not automatically disqualify you from the Drug Court Program, but it will subject you to one of the sanctions set forth on page ___.




            Substance abuse counseling is comprised of two separate formats:  individual and group.  As part of your treatment plan, you will be required to participate in both types of counseling, as determined by your treatment team.  The individual and group counseling are designed to work together to develop self-awareness, realize self-worth, and develop the strength to practice self-discipline.  The individual and group counseling sessions will include problem identification and alternative solutions.  Your attendance at counseling sessions will be reported to the Judge as part of your progress report.  You must have prior permission from your counselor to be excused from a counseling session.




            Attendance will be required at 12-step meetings, such as Narcotics and/or Alcoholics Anonymous.  The frequency of attendance requirements is determined by your progress in the program and your phase level.  However, the requirement for attendance is a minimum of three meetings weekly.  Attendance is an important part of your recovery process.  It will help familiarize you with the 12-step philosophy and will help you develop a level of trust to learn and create social bonds with other recovering addicts.  Your treatment team will provide you with information regarding the time and location of 12-step meetings and will also direct you to special interest and recovery events in the community.  You must provide proof of attendance to the Case Manager at each appointment or court appearance.  You assigned counselor may also require you to provide proof of attendance on a weekly basis.






            The INDEPENDENCE COUNTY DRUG COURT Program is a four-phase, highly structured, treatment program lasting for a minimum of one year, with the exact length depending upon your individual progress.  Each phase consists of specified treatment objectives, therapeutic and rehabilitative activities, and specific requirements for advancement into the next phase.  The components and requirements for advancement from each phase are described below.






      • 48 Group sessions
      • 120 Group hours
      • 12 Individual sessions
      • 36 Drug tests
      • 24 Outside 12-step meetings (NA/AA)
      • Court once every two weeks


            Advancement Criteria:

      • Time frame of abstinence and negative drug test results.
      • No unexcused absences from scheduled services.
      • Completion of all evaluations, assessments and adherence to all intake procedures.
      • Seeking employment or entering into vocational/educational activities.
      • Verbal acknowledgment of a desire to learn how to live in abstinence of all mood-altering substances.





            In Phase II, you will continue with your Case Manager and drug treatment counselors.  They will continue to comprise your treatment team.  In this phase, you will enter into a short-term ( 8-week ) intensive alcohol and other drug treatment, where you will come to learn and understand how denial and addiction work.  You will also become acquainted with the disease concept and the recovery process.



·        36 Group sessions

·        90 Group hours

·        12 Individual sessions

·        24 drug tests

·        36 Outside 12-step meetings (NA/AA)

·        Report to Case Manager as instructed

·        Formulate personal program goals in conjunction with treatment plan

·        Court at least once a month.


Advancement Criteria:

·        No positive drug test results

·        No unexcused absences from scheduled services

·        Employment

·        Documented required minimum attendance at 12-step meetings

·        Verbal presentation to drug court to extent of substance abuse problem

·        A commitment to become drug free





            In Phase III, your treatment plan will be updated by you and your counselor to identify your treatment goals and objectives.  Counseling and meetings will focus on relapse prevention issues and help you to identify ways of coping with stressful situations.



·        24 Group sessions

·        60 Group hours

·        12 Individual sessions

·        12 Drug tests

·        36 Outside 12-step meetings (NA/AA)

·        Report to Case Manager as instructed

·        Review and update treatment plan

·        Employment and/or education

·        Court as ordered by Judge


Advancement Criteria

·        No positive drug test results

·        No unexcused absences from scheduled services

·        Employment

·        Documented required minimum attendance at 12-step meetings

·        Sponsor




            Phase IV will address your ongoing recovery needs including maintaining total abstinence from all drugs.  The focus will be on daily living skills.  This phase is designed to support you in your return to the community as a productive and responsible member.


·        12 Group sessions

·        30 Group hours

·        6 Individual sessions

·        Random drug tests

·        24 Outside 12-step meetings (NA/AA)

·        GED, Job, Restitution, etc.

·        Goal setting

·        Court as ordered by Judge

Advancement Criteria:

·        No positive drug test results

·        No unexcused absences from scheduled services

·        Obtain gainful, consistent employment

·        Documented required minimum attendance at 12-step meetings

·        Maintenance of stable living arrangement and health interpersonal relationships as determined by the treatment team

·        Fulfillment of goals as stated in the individual treatment plan

·        Full payment or appropriate payment plan of all Court costs, fees, fines, restitution, and treatment costs




            At the point of graduation, you will continue under Drug Court supervision for a period of up to 12 months in the aftercare program.  It is the intention of the Drug Court to establish a graduate mentoring program whereby you will begin to give back assistance to the Drug Court by participating in the following:

1.      Random drug testing

2.      Participation in the aftercare group

3.      Continuing to address individual/personal issues of recovery

4.      Continuing 12-step meetings

5.      Beginning mentoring as a big brother, sister, or sponsor to new participants entering the Drug Court program

6.      Becoming an active co-facilitator working under and assisting counselors in group meetings

7.      Participating and assisting in supervised community service projects.




            If you fail to comply with the treatment program, the Drug Court Judge, may, at his discretion, order one or more of the following:


1.      Increased drug testing

2.      Increased participation in outpatient individual and/or group counseling

3.      Increased court appearances

4.      Increased NA/AA meetings

5.      Fines and/or restitution

6.      Community service

7.      Incarceration in the Independence County Jail

8.      Rephase to an earlier phase of treatment

9.      Extended term in program

10.  Commitment to community residential treatment

11.  Commitment to the Arkansas Department of Corrections



            Recovery from substance addiction means developing self-sufficiency and becoming a productive and responsible member of the community.  During the treatment program, you will be expected to be employed or involved in an educational or vocational training program.  Your Case Manager and your probation officer will work to assist you in obtaining an assessment of your needs and skills and will refer you to the proper agencies for education, training, and job placement.




            Upon your entry into the Drug Court Program, your treatment team will assess your housing, transportation, family and general living needs, and, when appropriate, refer you to a local, state and/or county agency for assistance.




            Once you have successfully completed the criteria for each phase, you will advance to the next level and eventually be a candidate to graduate from the Drug Court Program.  It will be necessary to discuss your progress toward the goals you initially set and why you believe you have met the graduation criteria.  Advancement from each phase and graduation from the program shall be determined by the Drug Court Judge and Drug Court team.  Your family will be invited to join you in Court as the Judge congratulates you on successfully completing the Drug Court Program and achieving your goal to establish a DRUG-FREE LIFE.




            The Drug Court Program has been developed to help you achieve total abstinence from illicit and illegal drugs and all criminal activity.  The program is designed to promote self-sufficiency and to return you to the community as a productive and responsible member.  The program is voluntary and is your personal choice.  The Judge, the court staff, and the treatment team are present to guide and assist you, but the final responsibility is yours.  You must be motivated to make this change and commit to a DRUG-FREE LIFE.


            We hope this Handbook has been helpful to you and answered most of your questions.  If you have any questions or concerns about the Drug Court Program, please feel free to ask your treatment team.