Free Drug Courts Work - New Jersey

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State: New Jersey
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Author: Criminal Practice Division - New Jersey Judiciary
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Preview Drug Courts Work
Drug courts are a highly specialized team process that functions within the existing Superior Court structure to address nonviolent drug-related cases. They are unique in the criminal justice environment because they build a close collaborative relationship between criminal justice and drug treatment professionals. Within a cooperative courtroom atmosphere, the judge heads a team of court staff, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators and treatment counselors all working in concert to support and monitor a participant's recovery. Drug court programs are rigorous, requiring intensive supervision based on frequent drug testing and court appearances.

A revolution has been going on in the criminal justice system. It began at the grassroots level with a few people who realized that the old approach incarceration and more incarceration wasn't working. As the numbers of accused drug offenders kept increasing, there were simply not enough jails and prisons to hold them. In New Jersey, especially with the enactment of the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986," a major increase occurred in the number of arrests generally, the number of arrests in drug cases, and the percentage of those being sentenced to serve time in state institutions. Drug courts have been more successful in generating significant cost savings by replacing costly per inmate annual incarceration costs with less expensive treatment services. In addition, drug courts substantially reduce drug use and recidivism while offenders are in the program by closely supervising drug offenders in the community, placing and keeping drug offenders in treatment programs, and by providing treatment and related services to offenders soon after arrest. Furthermore, drug courts have shown great success in reducing racial disparity in the prison population.

Potential drug court defendants come under the court's supervision very soon after arrest. Upon acceptance to the drug court, participants begin an individually structured treatment program lasting generally from three to five years. Participants are required to attend treatment sessions, undergo random urinalysis, meet regularly with their probation officers, and appear frequently before the drug court judge.

New Jersey's drug courts include a multi-phased judicial process coupled with treatment services and intensive probation supervision.

Program Elements:
-Regular court appearances -Frequent and random drug testing -Medical detoxification, if necessary -Residential programs, if necessary -Intensive outpatient programs -Individual and group counseling -12-step, self-help groups -Relapse prevention -Sanctions and incentives -Community service requirements -Referrals to literacy volunteers, educational and vocation programs and job readiness training, if applicable

New Jersey's drug courts target substance abusing, nonviolent adult defendants who have undergone both a legal review and a clinical assessment by drug court team members. Persons excluded from participation in drug court include those who have previous convictions or pending charges for a violent offense. Other eligibility criteria and exclusions apply. Contact the Judiciary website at: or the drug court in your area for details.

Personal accountability on the part of the participant Payment of child support and other financial obligations Education and full-time employment Involvement with self-help and community organizations to support participant recovery after graduation from drug court

What Makes Our Drug Courts Unique?
New Jersey's drug court design is based on the 10 Key Components benchmarked by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. These essential elements establish the foundation from which policies and operating procedures have formed. A statewide drug court model has emerged in New Jersey that targets non-violent substance abusing defendants who otherwise, without drug courts, would be bound for state prison, county jail or other sentence.

Judiciary Adult Drug Court Programs The Facts Are In ...

New Jersey Judiciary Administrative Office of the Courts Statewide Adult Drug Court Programs

Administrative Office of the Courts Criminal Practice Division P.O. Box 982 Trenton, NJ 08625 Carol Venditto, Statewide Drug Court Manager Tel: (609) 292-3488 E-mail:

Mercer Vicinage Drug Court 209 South Broad Street Trenton, NJ 08650 Tel: (609) 571-4067 Middlesex Vicinage Drug Court 1 Kennedy Square New Brunswick, NJ 08903 Tel: (732) 565-5057 Monmouth Vicinage Drug Court 71 Monument Park; P.O. Box 1266 Freehold, NJ 07728-1266 Tel: (732) 677-4551 Morris/Sussex Vicinage Drug Court Washington & Court Street Morristown, NJ 07960 Tel: (973) 326-6997 Ocean Vicinage Drug Court Ocean County Justice Complex; Room 240 Toms River, NJ 0875 Tel: (732) 929-4780x2125 Passaic Vicinage Drug Court 77 Hamilton Street, 2nd Floor Paterson, NJ 07505 Tel: (973) 247-8343 Somerset/Hunterdon/Warren Vicinage Drug Court Somerset County North Bridge Street Somerville, NJ 08876 Tel: (908) 203-6171 Hunterdon County--Main Location 65 Park Avenue Flemington, NJ 08822 Tel: (908) 237-5839 Warren County Second & Hardwick Streets Belvidere, NJ 07823 Tel: (908) 475-6990 Union Vicinage Drug Court 2 Broad Street Elizabeth, NJ 07207 Tel: (908) 659-4680

Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage Drug Court Atlantic County Criminal Courts Complex 4997 Unami Blvd. Mays Landing, NJ 08330 Tel: (609) 909-8113 Bergen Vicinage Drug Court Bergen County Courthouse Hackensack, NJ 07601 Tel: (201) 527-2405 Burlington Vicinage Drug Court 49 Rancocas Road Mt. Holly, NJ 08060 Tel: (609) 518-2559 Camden Vicinage Drug Court 101 S. Fifth Street Camden, NJ 08103 Tel: (856) 379-2200 x 3358 Essex Vicinage Drug Court New Courts Building 50 W. Market Street Newark, NJ 07102 Tel: (973) 693-5983 Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem Vicinage Drug Court Criminal Justice Complex, 1st fl. Hunter & Euclid Streets Woodbury, NJ 08096 Tel: (856) 853-3753 Hudson Vicinage Drug Court 595 Newark Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306 Tel: (201) 795-6882

Stuart Rabner Chief Justice Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D. Acting Administrative Director of Courts John P. McCarthy, Jr., Esq. Director of Trial Court Services New Jersey Judiciary Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex 25 W. Market St. PO Box 982 Trenton, NJ 08625-0982 Phone: (609) 943-5977 Fax (609) 292-9659 Criminal Practice Division Tel: (609) 943-5977