Treatment Courts to be Discussed in Special Session

During the upcoming special session, which Governor Parson has announced will begin on September 10,  the General Assembly will take up two bills, one of which focuses on treatment courts. Treatment courts, which include drug courts, DWI courts, veteran courts, family courts, and juvenile courts, are part of a unique program designed to keep individuals out of jail and on the road to a healthy, law-abiding lifestyle. Treatment courts usually involve screening and assessment, judicial interaction, monitoring, graduated sanctions and incentives, and treatment or rehabilitation services. They are usually managed by a multidisciplinary team including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, social workers, and treatment professionals.

Treatment courts are a proven cost-effective method for diverting offenders from incarceration in prison.  They lower recidivism rates while allowing offenders to stay in their communities and support their family and pay taxes.

The bill before the legislature would establish best practices for treatment courts across the state. It would also allow counties unable to set up their own treatment court the ability to transfer defendants to another county. Treatment courts are often operated with a mixture of federal, state, and county funding.