July 21, 2019

Seventeenth Judicial District Celebrates Launch of Drug Court in Adams County Tomorrow

Colorado State Judicial has announced that the Seventeenth Judicial District will officially launch a drug court in the Adams County Court with a kick-off celebration tomorrow, Wednesday, September 28, 2011 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. The event will be held in the jury assembly room at the Adams County Justice Center in Brighton (1100 Judicial Center Drive).  Members of the public are invited to attend in anticipation of the first docket for the new drug court being called next week on October 6, in division 8.

“This type of problem solving court has proven effective in both saving money for the taxpayers and bringing about positive change and accountability to the individuals that have drug dependency,” said Adams County Court Judge Leroy Kirby, who will preside over the drug court.  “This has truly been a team effort with all the essential agencies involved and would not be successful without them.  The Seventeenth Judicial District now joins numerous other adult drug treatment courts throughout the State of Colorado in offering a problem solving solution.”

Problem-solving courts have been shown to be an effective means of reducing substance abuse and increasing the likelihood that people will remain in recovery and reintegrate into their communities as productive and contributing members, with fewer instances of relapse or recurrence of criminal behavior than traditional court proceedings.

“Drug courts change lives by reducing the number of people committing future crimes,” said Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney Don Quick.  “These proven, cost-saving programs for non-violent offenders benefit not only the abusers, but also their families and the community.”

The Adams County Drug Court is committed to an integrated and collaborative effort of treatment, accountability, and rehabilitation of drug dependent offenders.  The program is designed to ensure community safety and create healthy individuals and families while reducing costs and recidivism.

The Adams County Drug Court is one of more than sixty problem-solving courts operating in seventeen of Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts. Colorado’s problem-solving courts include adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect drug courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, veteran trauma courts, and truancy courts.

Denver Drug Court Opens a Special Track for Veterans

Earlier this month, the Denver Adult Drug Court implemented a Veterans Track within its existing problem-solving courts program. As a result, some military veterans charged with non-violent crimes may now have the opportunity to be enrolled in the court-monitored treatment and accountability program.

The drug court program was expanded to create the new track, which is designed to balance the specialized treatment needs of veterans with the need to protect the community’s safety. The goal is to provide non-violent offenders with effective treatment while still holding them accountable for their actions.

According to the press release from State Judicial, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports that one in six veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from a substance abuse challenge; one in five has symptoms of a mental disorder or cognitive impairment. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be an underlying factor in crimes allegedly committed by veterans and their subsequent involvement with the criminal justice system.

“The Denver Adult Drug Court once again is in the forefront in addressing the critical needs of vulnerable segments of our society,” said Denver District Court Chief Judge Robert S. Hyatt. “Providing a specialized court experience for veterans is a logical extension of the many services already available in the Denver Adult Drug Court.”

The new arm of the Denver Adult Drug Court is the second court program in Colorado specifically designed to address the needs of military veterans. A Veteran Trauma Court in the Fourth Judicial District, which serves El Paso and Teller counties, has been operating for two years with a similar goal and program.

Other new services provided to veterans have also been organized this month. The Colorado Bar Association is sponsoring Veterans’ Legal Clinics, which begin in November. Additionally, a new website has been created to connect local veterans with the people who want to help them resolve their legal issues.

For more information on Veterans Track program and the Veterans Trauma Court, contact Laura Williams, Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, at (303) 866-7433 or laura.williams@state.co.us.

Click here to read the full press release about the veterans track from State Judicial.

Jefferson County to Graduate Largest Class Yet from its Recovery Court

The Jefferson County Recovery Court marks a milestone on Friday, August 12, 2011 when three participants are scheduled to graduate from the program, its largest graduation yet since beginning two years ago.

Four classes have graduated so far from the Recovery Court, which is essentially a Drug Court (similar to adult drug courts found in about twenty other counties around the state) but with the addition of a restorative justice component. Participants must complete an eighteen-month intensive-treatment program that includes probation supervision, in-court review hearings, substantial judicial oversight, and full accountability by the Recovery Court participant.

Unlike many other drug court programs, however, the Jefferson County Recovery Court requires each participant to create a restorative justice program as part of his or her treatment plan. Participants design and carry out community-service projects intended to repair some of the harm they have caused through their drug use and previous criminal behavior.

Friday’s graduates developed and implemented the following court-approved projects:

  • Creation of a menu and assistance with food preparation plans and service at the Denver Rescue Mission
  • Organization of a food-donation program involving a Honey Baked Ham store to benefit local shelters
  • Volunteer work at the Aspen Center for Women.

The graduation hearing will be held at the Jefferson County Combined Courts, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Courtroom 5C, beginning at noon.

The Jefferson County Recovery Court is one of more than sixty problem-solving courts operating in seventeen of Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts. Colorado’s problem-solving courts include adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect drug courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, a veteran trauma court, and truancy courts.

Click here to read the full press release from State Judicial.

Eighth Judicial District’s Adult Drug Court Celebrating National Drug Court Month: A Proven Budget Solution

The Denver Drug Court isn’t the only problem-solving court in Colorado celebrating National Drug Court Month. This month, the Eighth Judicial District Adult Drug Court is also recognizing the 162 people who have graduated from the program since it began a decade ago.

District Court Judge Daniel J. Kaup presides over the court in Larimer County, where programs identify substance abusers in the criminal justice system. Participants are held accountable through an integrated supervision program designed to address substance abuse issues through treatment and rehabilitation. Judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, treatment providers, and court staff work collaboratively to enforce compliance with court orders through a system of graduated rewards and sanctions. Accordingly, frequent court appearances before a sitting judge is an important factor for success in the program.

The program currently has sixty-three participants and has successfully graduated 162 people in the last decade. Locally, 93% of drug court graduates are not charged with a new felony or misdemeanor within a year after their graduation; 80% have not been charged with a new felony or misdemeanor within three years of graduating.

In addition to the Adult Drug Court, Larimer County began a DUI Court in July 2010, and is also home to a Juvenile Drug Court Program, a Family Treatment Court, and Colorado State University administers a Campus Court.

In honor of National Drug Court Month, the national focus is on the monumental societal and economic benefits of Drug Courts. At a time when local, state, and federal budgets are stretched, Drug Courts are highlighting their programs as effective tools for reducing substance abuse and crime and improving safety, and as more cost effective than straight incarceration. More information on the success of Drug Courts and National Drug Court Month can be found at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals website.

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Denver Drug Court to Hold Graduation Ceremony in Celebration of National Drug Court Month

The Denver Drug Court will hold a special graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, to celebrate National Drug Court Month and the twenty-second anniversary of the establishment of drug courts throughout the nation.

Thirty-eight men and women are slated to graduate from the Denver Drug Court program on Wednesday, bringing the total number of 2011 graduates to 102. Last year, 232 people graduated from the program. “Graduation marks a drug court participant’s completion of a 12- to 24-month intensive treatment program that includes probation supervision, in-court review hearings, substantial judicial oversight, and full accountability of the Drug Court participant.”

The ceremony will be held at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, 520 W. Colfax Ave., in the Jury Room, Room 100, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Among those scheduled to speak are Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L. Bender and former governor Bill Ritter.

The Denver Drug Court was originally established in 1994 as one of the first drug courts in the country. In 2007, the Denver Drug Court was redesigned to become more effective. The court is absorbing nearly 40 percent of the criminal filings that would otherwise land on a traditional district court docket, greatly reducing the amount of time the court needs to process a drug case.

National Drug Court Month is coordinated on a national level by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, which was established in 1994 to assist in the planning, implementation and operation of drug courts. What started in a Florida courtroom 22 years ago has become the nation’s most successful strategy for dealing with substance-abusing offenders. The Denver Drug Court graduation is being held in concert with graduations in many of the 2,500 Drug Courts across the country.

Activities and commemorations during National Drug Court Month will center on the theme “Drug Courts: A Proven Budget Solution.”

CLE: Drug, Sobriety, and Mental Health – Colorado’s New Problem Solving Courts

We’ve talked about Colorado’s problem solving courts here before (here, here and here). But did you know there are now more than fifty operational problem solving courts in sixteen Colorado jurisdictions? The courts are specifically tailored to consider particularized issues, and consist of adult drug courts, juvenile drug courts, mental health courts, family/dependency and neglect courts, truancy courts, prostitution drug court, and DWI courts.

The goal is to stress a collaborative, multidisciplinary, problem-solving approach to address the underlying issues of the individuals appearing in court, rather than simply focusing on the immediate legal matter brought before the court. There is close collaboration with the service communities in their jurisdictions, and the results have been proven to show long-term effectiveness. According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, seventy-five percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.

If you’re interested in learning more, join us for a CLE program to learn when and how you may use Colorado’s problem solving courts, rather than the traditional court setting, on behalf of your clients.

The CLE seminar, Drug, Sobriety and Mental Health Courts – Colorado’s New Problem Solving Courts, will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011. It is available in a variety of formats, including live, live webcast, online video, MP3 download, audio CD, and video replay.

Fifth Judicial District Now Home to Colorado’s Newest Drug Court

In October, Summit County launched Colorado’s latest Drug Court, a problem-solving court “focused on treating substance abuse among qualifying criminal offenders.” The court will also serve the counties of Clear Creek and Eagle within the Fifth Judicial District. The area has seen a high percentage of criminal cases relating to drug and alcohol addiction. Instead of simply sending such offenders to prison, the new court will seek to help treat the addiction and reduce recidivism.

The new Drug Court is one of over fifty such problem-solving courts in Colorado. Participants are screened and approved through a multidisciplinary process, and engage in rehabilitation through “monitoring, customized treatment programs, intensive supervision and regular, in-person court review hearings.” Additionally, participants, capped at 15 for the court’s initial client list, must undergo counseling and submit to random and frequent drug and alcohol testing.

Rehabilitation and financial statistics from the drug courts are also impressive and further bolster the program. “Seventy-five percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program, and every dollar invested in drug courts results in a net savings of $3.36 that would have otherwise been spent on criminal justice costs.

More information about drug courts can be found here.

The Colorado Judicial Branch press release can be found here.