Plattsburgh City Court
     
Drug Court Overview

Why Drug Courts?

How Does Drug Court Work?

Drug Court Includes:

Who is Eligible?

Who is not Eligible?


Why Drug Courts?

The emergence of crack cocaine in the mid 1980's placed a tremendous strain on our already overburdened courts, as arrests soared for drug-related crimes. For many defendants, incarceration by itself was not enough to break the cycle of illegal drug use and crime. A new approach was needed–one that would address the abuser’s underlying dependency and halt the revolving door of drugs-crime-jail.

Drug Courts provide that new approach, diverting nonviolent defendants to strictly supervised treatment programs instead of incarceration.

More than 70 percent of Drug Court defendants nationwide stay in treatment. While more than half of the drug dependent offenders prosecuted in traditional courts will be arrested again, re-arrest rates for drug court participants are well under 30 percent and less than 10 percent for graduates.

The first Drug Court opened in Dade County, Florida in 1989. Since then, more than 600 drug courts have become operational across the nation, including more than 30 in New York State. Drug Court opened in the City of Plattsburgh in May 2003.

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How Does Drug Court Work?

Drug Court is a voluntary alternative to the traditional disposition of criminal charges offered to eligible defendants.

In Drug Court, the Judge assumes a more proactive role in overseeing defendants in drug treatment. Using the court’s coercive power to change behavior, the Judge rewards defendants when they achieve sobriety and sanctions them if they fall back a step.

With the Judge as the central player, Drug Courts function as a team in which the prosecutor, defense attorney, treatment providers and probation officers work together to help offenders overcome their dependencies.

 

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Plattsburgh City Drug Court Includes:

  • Timely identification of defendants in need of treatment as soon as possible after arrest.
  • Three years probation supervision.
  • Judicial supervision of structured community-based treatment.
  • Regular status hearings before the Judge to monitor treatment progress and program compliance.
  • Mandatory periodic drug testing.
  • Increasing defendant accountability through a series of graduated sanctions and rewards.

 

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Who is Eligible?

The Drug Court Judge, in consultation with the Drug Court Team, determines the suitability of a person as a Drug Court participant.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Being a defendant in a pending nonviolent criminal case in Plattsburgh City Court.
    or
    Violating probation by using alcohol/controlled substances or failing to comply with treatment recommendations.
  • Living in Clinton County.
  • Having an alcohol/substance dependence diagnosis after initial assessment.
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Who is not Eligible?

Persons not considered for Drug Court participation include:

  • A person with a conviction for a violent or sex crime or with a history of violent behavior.
  • A person with a primary psychiatric disorder.
  • A person who is charged with drug sales.
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New York State Unified Court System Lady Justice
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