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Otsego County Courts


Drug Treatment Court

Judges | Program Coordinator | Mission Statement | Requirements | Sanctions/Responses | Incentives/Rewards | Eligibility | Suitability Standards | Map

Judges

Hon. Brian D. Burns
197 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

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Coordinator

Leo J. Giovagnoli
197 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 607-547-4375
Fax: 607-547-6418

Assistant Court Analyst
TBD
197 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 607-547-7510
Fax: 607-547-6418

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Mission Statement

The Otsego County Family Treatment Court's mission is to provide for the health, safety, and stable home environment of children whose caretakers have substance abuse issues and are involved in neglect, custody, and/or family offense proceedings in Family Court. Through a court based collaborative effort, the Otsego County Family Treatment Court provides intensive ongoing case monitoring, alcohol and drug treatment, intensive court supervision and informed planning together with seeking to integrate and coordinate community resources for families in an effort to break the cycle of addiction and neglect.

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Program Requirements

The goal of the Otsego County Drug Treatment Court is to assist alcohol and drug addicted defendants in breaking the cycle of addiction and criminal activity while simultaneously providing safety in the community. Eligible defendants considering the program must complete the Stabilization Phase before a decision is made on program entry.

Stabilization Period: The focus of this period, anticipated to be 4 weeks, will be to evaluate the defendant's receptiveness to treatment and the program. This stage begins when the defendant is released under the supervision of probation (RUS). Defendants must:

  • Complete an intake interview
  • Complete an alcohol/substance abuse evaluation
  • Submit to random drug screening and alcohol breath tests
  • Attend Drug Treatment Court sessions
  • Permit home visits to be completed by a Probation Officer
  • Be subject to a 10 pm curfew
  • Attend AA/NA meetings as directed
  • Attend a Drug Court Orientation session

Upon the defendant being considered appropriate for the program by the Drug Treatment Court Team, the defendant enters a plea and is them sentenced to probation supervision. As a condition of probation, the defendant must successfully complete the following three phases, each lasting a minimum of three months, The length of the program is variable depending on the progress of the participant. Movement through the phases occurs at the discretion of the court.

Phase I - Early Recovery: The focus of this phase is to engage the participant in treatment and support his/her efforts to stay clean and sober. Participants will:

  • Be subject to daily Probation supervision
  • Permit random unannounced home visits by Probation Officers or other Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Appear in Drug Treatment Court as directed
  • Participate in recommended alcohol/drug treatment
  • Be subject to random alcohol and/or drug screening up to 3 times per week, or as deemed necessary
  • Attend 12 step meetings, in compliance with treatment plan
  • Complete an educational/employment plan and literacy assessment
  • Have a complete physical and dental exam if deemed necessary
  • Be subject to a 10 pm curfew
  • Complete a mental health screening and attend all recommended follow-up or treatment appointments
  • Attend life skills, health, employment or education programs as directed
  • Obtain a 12 step sponsor
  • Participate in daily Color Call In System along with subject to random alcohol and/or drug screening or as deemed necessary
  • Perform four (4) hours of volunteer work per month at an approved site

During Phase I, participants are asked to fully participate in the Drug Court program. The goal of this phase is to have participants abstain from drug and alcohol use and to develop the skills necessary to maintain this state. To advance to Phase II, participants must have 6 weeks of clean urine screens and Breathalyzer, have a positive Probation report, and have met all other Phase I requirements.

Phase II - Decision Making: The goals of this phase include demonstrating a commitment to living without alcohol and other drugs and getting involved in an educational/employment program. Participants will:

  • Report to their Probation Officer as directed
  • Permit random unannounced home visits by Probation Officers or other Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Report to Drug Treatment Court as directed
  • Participate in recommended treatment in compliance with individualized treatment plan
  • Be subject to reduced random alcohol and/or drug screening up to 3 times per week
  • Be subject to a midnight curfew, unless modified by the Court or Probation
  • Attend 12 step group meetings, in compliance with treatment plan
  • Start educational and vocational plan implementation
  • Attend life skills, health, employment or education programs as directed
  • Follow up with any recommended physical, dental or mental health treatment

To advance to Phase III, participants must have 9 weeks clean and sober and be involved in their individual educational/employment plan.

Phase III - Community Transition: This phase will focus on relapse prevention and maintaining a clean and sober life. Emphasis will be on educational and vocational training as needed. Participants will:

  • Report to their Probation Officer as directed
  • Permit random unannounced home visits by Probation Officers or other Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Report to Drug Treatment Court as directed
  • Attend group and individual counseling as recommended
  • Be subject random alcohol and/or drug screening, up to 2 time per week
  • Attend 12 step group meetings, in compliance with treatment plan
  • Continue active participation in education/employment plan
  • Attend life skills, health, employment, or education program as directed
  • Plan and complete a community service project as directed
  • Attend a graduate group/graduate review panel as directed

Commencement: Successful participants will graduate after completing Phase III, remaining drug and alcohol free for at least 12 consecutive months in the program, and finishing treatment (including satisfying outstanding financial obligations). In addition, he/she must have achieved all educational/vocational goals. Prior to commencement all potential graduates will be required to fill out a graduation application and attend a graduation review panel. Participants must also resolve all pending cases and pay all outstanding fines, surcharges, and restitution prior to commencement, The presiding judge will have final say regarding satisfaction of program requirements and a participant's readiness to graduate.

Participants will continue to be monitored at least six months past graduation, including alcohol/drug screening, under a conditional discharge or through probation supervision, depending on the terms of their contract.

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Sanctions/Responses

Noncompliance with the program may result in one of a series of graduated sanctions being imposed. Behaviors considered to be noncompliant include unexcused absences (from Drug Treatment Court or any program appointment), positive alcohol/drug screens, providing a fraudulent or altered urine sample, disruptive or disrespectful behavior, failure to attend 12 step meetings, failure to complete a sanction, a new arrest, or violation of a Court Order. Sanctions may include writing assignments, increased reporting to probation, attendance at extra court sessions, community service, movement back to an earlier Phase, and local incarceration of variable length.

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Incentives/Rewards

Progress in the program is recognized in a variety of ways including praise in the court room, gift certificates, medallions, Phase Movement Ceremonies. In addition to these awards, Team members continually look for opportunities to recognize and support participants' efforts to make positive changes.

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Current Eligibility Standards

Standards: Consideration for admission to the Drug Court Program shall be limited to those defendants, 16 years of age or older and residents of Otsego County, who:

  • Have been arrested and charged with

    a. Class C, D, or E Felonies, or any Misdemeanor, except for those crimes eliminated under the current screening requirements. With the main intent and goal to include any non-violent crime where substance abuse is a major contributing factor, This could also include persons with prior felony convictions.

    b. Do not qualify, but are deemed suitable by the Drug Court Team as appropriate for court-monitored treatment.
  • Have violated probation on prior conviction(s) of the N.S. penal law.

Practices:

  • Defendants with a prior conviction for a violent offense within the last 10 years, and/or current charge of a violent offense are ineligible.

    A violent offender is generally defined as a person who either (a) is charged with or convicted of an offense, during the course of which the offender carried, possessed, or used a firearm or other dangerous weapon; caused the use of force against another person; or caused the death of, or serious bodily injury to another person; without regard to whether proof of any of the elements described herein is required to convict; or (b) has previously been convicted of a felony crime of violence involving the use or attempted use of force against a person with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm. Defendants with convictions or pending charges involving sexual offenses are ineligible.
  • Defendants with pending charges involving an alcohol-related accident with personal injury other than injury to the defendant are ineligible.
  • Those defendants with a record of drug sales or drug dealing are ineligible; however, those charges with drug sales where the facts indicate a casual sale or presumed sale under the current definitions need not be automatically excluded.
  • The admission of a defendant to the Drug Court Program shall be made by the Drug Court Judge. This determination shall be made based on recommendations from the District Attorney, Public Defender, Drug Court Coordinator and the Treatment Provider.
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Suitability Standards

Standards:

The Drug Court Program Coordinator shall assist the Drug Court Judge in determining the overall suitability of defendants for the program by completing a standardized Drug Court screening for eligible defendants.

Practices:

  • The Coordinator will determine program suitability using the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and OASAS Criminality Screen; and arranging for administration of a full drug panel.
  • Risk assessment factors contributing to admission to the Drug Court Program include family and community ties, employment status, and a summary of the defendant's prior criminal history of offenses other than those which would "automatically" exclude him/her but which may be helpful in determining suitability for the Drug Court Program. Consideration of risk assessment factors is discretionary and shall be used by the Drug Court Judge on a case-by-case basis.

Standards:

The Drug Court Treatment Staff Shall assist the Drug Court Judge in determining the overall suitability of defendants for the program by interviewing eligible defendants and summarizing any background and/or drug history information including medical status, which may bear on the individual's potential for success in the intensive drug court treatment program.

Practices:

  • Clinical evaluation will be completed at the clinical/agency level by certified or eligible substance abuse professionals
  • Clinical evaluation results will be provided to the Coordinator for incorporation into information for the Drug Court Judge.

Standards:

Individuals who are currently on antagonist or blocker medication (i.e. methadone, LAMM, etc.) for their substance abuse/addiction will be considered on a case by case basis and will require supportive documentation by prescribing physician.

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