Handbook for Participants

Guidelines and Program Information


Welcome to IDTC 3 - 5
Benefits of the Program 6
IDTC Rules 7 - 9
IDTC Phase Description 10 - 15
IDTC Expectations 16 - 19
IDTC Sanctions and Rewards 20 - 21
IDTC Support Services 22 - 28
Relapse Triggers and Prevention 29
Important Numbers 30
Your Questions and Notes 31-32

For more information or to provide comments contact:
IDTC Coordinator
Ithaca Drug Treatment Court
(at the Community Justice Center)
312 N. Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Voice - 607-277-1455 Ext. 10

Revision Date: 5/15/00


Our thanks to the Syracuse Community Treatment Court, with special thanks to Kim Kozlowski, for providing assistance in developing this handbook.

Welcome to Ithaca Drug Treatment Court (IDTC)

This handbook is designed to:

? Answer questions

? Address concerns

? Provide information about Drug Court

As a participant in the IDTC program, you will be required to follow the instructions given in court by the IDTC Judge and comply with the treatment plan developed for you by your Probation Officer. This handbook will explain what is expected of you. It will also provide general program information.

Please feel free to share a copy of this handbook with your family members and friends Woman and man

What is Drug Court?

The Ithaca Drug Treatment Court is a special part of Ithaca City Court. It is a court-supervised treatment program for Tompkins County residents who face criminal charges and who also have a drug or alcohol addiction. Drug Treatment Court is a voluntary program that includes regular court appearances before the Treatment Court Judge. If you are accepted into Drug Treatment Court, you will be expected to follow a treatment plan.

What is a treatment plan?

A treatment plan will begin with an evaluation conducted by staff from Alpha House Outpatient or the Alcoholism Council of Tompkins County and your assigned probation officer.

This plan may require all or some of the following:

ü Outpatient treatment
ü Inpatient treatment/Residential treatment
ü Halfway House or Transitional housing placement
ü Regular and random drug testing
ü Counseling (individual and group)
ü Mental Health Counseling
ü Educational/vocational/employment program
ü Participation in self-help (AA/NA) groups
Your probation officer will also help you with other areas of your life according to your individual needs. This may include referrals for:
ü Skills testing and an educational assessment
ü Job Training and job-readiness training
ü School or other educational services
ü Job placement services
ü Family counseling
ü Life Skills classes
ü Public Assistance/Medicaid
ü Recreational activities
How can I participate in the IDTC program?

Following your arrest you were offered the choice of participating in Ithaca Drug Treatment Court Program or remaining in criminal court for prosecution on your pending charges. Successful completion and graduation from the IDTC program may result in reducing or dismissal of the pending charges or the imposition of a more favorable sentence, depending on the terms of your individual contract.

Note: Some IDTC participants do not sign contracts, but enter the program in other ways. If you did not sign a contract with IDTC, talk to your defense attorney about your specific situation.

Failure or dismissal from the IDTC program will result in sentencing on the charge(s) to which you pled at the time you signed your contract.

How long will I be in the IDTC program?

The amount of time you spend in the IDTC program will be determined by your individual progress, but will be no less than 12 months.

While we recognize that addiction is a treatable disease,it is important for you to remember that you are in the IDTC program because of criminal behavior

5What's in it for me?
Benefits of the Program:
small scaleDismissal or reduction of your charges
In most cases, successful completion of the IDTC program will result in having the original charge(s) dismissed or reduced. In other cases, a lighter sentence will be imposed. (Talk to your attorney about your specific case.)
jumping manA second chance
This program offers you the chance to move forward in your life with the new things you have learned.
sunA healthly lifestyle
The IDTC program will help you take control of your life in many ways. Even more important than the things you will learn not to do such as abusing drugs and alcohol and committing any more crimes are the things you will learn how to do: eating right, reducing stress, becoming fully employed, rebuilding family relationships, and becoming a productive member of the community.

We are here to help!

Nobody said it would be easy.

On the following pages you will find the steps involved in the IDTC program and information about some of the resources that you will need to use to succeed. Remember that there are many people who make up the IDTC Treatment Team, and they all want to see you succeed. If you take advantage of the assistance offered by the Treatment Team, you will discover many ways to make a better life for yourself.


What are the rules of program?

To remain in the Ithaca Drug Treatment Court Program you are required to follow IDTC rules.

1. You must participate in regular court supervision (In other words, you must show up at Drug Court and for meetings with your Probation Officer on time.)

2. You must attend all scheduled treatment and support services appointments.

3. You must complete all required paperwork.

4. You must successfully complete all three phases of the program.
Ask your probation officer or defense attorney to explain to you anything in this handbook that you do not understand !

71. Regular Court Supervision

You will be required to appear in front of the IDTC Judge on a regular basis. The Judge will be given progress reports on you regarding your drug tests, attendance, and participation in your treatment program. These reports will come from your Probation Officer, treatment and/or mental health counselor, and the members of the IDTC support program with whom you are working (such as Employment Specialist, Family Advocate, etc.). The Judge will ask you about your progress, and discuss any problems you may be having.

During Stabilization and Phase I, you must come to court weekly. As you make progress, your court appearance schedule will be reduced. If you are doing well, you will be encouraged to continue working towards the goal of graduating from IDTC.
You are required to arrive on time and stay until court is finished unless the Judge dismisses you earlier.

2. Regular Attendance

As an IDTC participant you are required to attend all of your scheduled treatment sessions, all of your other IDTC appointments, and all of your scheduled court dates.

Treatment sessions include counseling, substance abuse sessions, education sessions and all other sessions as directed. You will be required to be on time for all sessions. If you are late, you may not be allowed to attend and may be considered absent.
clock Your treatment schedule will vary according to your progress. It is your responsibility to schedule all needed appointments and to arrive on time for all of them.

83. Required Paperwork

Release of Information:

All members of the IDTC Team must be able to communicate about your eligibility and progress in the program. Upon entry into IDTC, you will be required to sign releases of information to allow this to happen. You must also sign additional releases as needed to arrange further treatment, counseling or support services referrals.


Most IDTC participants will be required to sign an IDTC contract in court. Your lawyer, the Assistant District Attorney, and the Judge will also sign the contract. Each contract is written specifically for the individual participant based on the person's current charges, situation, and prior criminal and/or treatment history. Your contract may require more than is listed in this booklet. Before you sign your contact you will have an opportunity to review your contract with your defense attorney and have your questions answered.

Remember that moving to the next Phase will be based on your own progress and your ability to stay focused on what you must do to meet all IDTC expectations and rules.

4. Completion of Program Phases

The Program Phases are explained in the following pages. They are your steps to success.

9Steps to Success!

IDTC Phases

The Ithaca Drug Treatment Court is a four-phase program that lasts a minimum of one year. Total program length is based upon individual progress. Each phase consists of specific treatment goals, activities, and requirements that you must meet before moving to the next phase. The IDTC Phases are explained in detail on the following pages.

Remember: While there are certain things you must complete, your ability to move along in the program and graduate will depend mostly on your own actions. If you miss appointments, ignore other requirements, or fail to stay away from drug and alcohol use, your time in IDTC could be longer.
Throughout the time you are involved in the Ithaca Drug Treatment Court, you must review your plan with your probation officer and follow it carefully.

10Stabilization-Orientation Phase

Stabilization is the beginning of the IDTC program that ends when you enter your recommended treatment program and sign your contract. During this time, you will be assigned a probation officer and he or she will work with you to develop your individual treatment plan.

When you receive your treatment recommendation, you will be asked to sign a contract in court that says that you understand the expectations of the IDTC program. In most cases, the contract also says that when you successfully complete the IDTC program your charges will be dropped or reduced. Your probation officer can answer any questions that you may have about the IDTC program.

During Stabilization you must:

  • complete an intake interview with the Drug Treatment Court Coordinator;
  • complete a substance abuse evaluation;
  • submit to random drug screenings and alcohol breath tests;
  • attend weekly Drug Treatment Court sessions;
  • permit home visits to be completed by a Probation Officer;
  • be subject to a 10 p.m. curfew;
  • attend 12 step meetings as directed and;
  • attend a Drug Court Orientation session;
After you successfully begin your recommended treatment program and sign your IDTC contract, you will be moved into Phase I.

11PHASE I-Early Recovery

Phase I begins after you successfully start your initial treatment program and sign your IDTC contract. Your treatment program could include an inpatient or outpatient program.

During Phase I you must:

  • report to your probation officer 3 times per week or more, as directed;
  • permit random unannounced home visits by probation officers;
  • appear in Drug Treatment Court weekly;
  • participate in recommended alcohol/drug treatment;
  • be subject to random drug screening and alcohol screening tests up to 3 times per week;
  • rovide verified attendance at a minimum of three 12 step meetings per week;
  • complete an educational/employment assessment;
  • have a complete physical and dental exam;
  • comply with a 10 p.m. curfew;
  • complete a mental health screening and attend all recommended follow-up or treatment;
  • attend life skills, health, employment and education programs as directed; and
  • obtain a 12-step sponsor.
To advance to Phase II, you must have at least 60 days of clean urine screens, have at least four satisfactory home visits, and have met all other Phase I requirements. Your probation officer and treatment provider must recommend to the IDTC Treatment Team and the Judge that you are ready to move on to the next phase.
Remember that your moving to the next phase is based on your own progress and your ability to stay focused on what you must do to meet all of the IDTC program rules and expectations.

12PHASE II-Decision Making

During Phase II you must:

  • report to your probation officer as directed, up to two times per week;
  • permit random unannounced home visits by probation officers;
  • report to Drug Treatment Court every other week;
  • attend group and individual counseling sessions;
  • be subject to random drug screening, up to 3 times per week;
  • provide verified attendance at a minimum of three 12-step group meetings per week;
  • start educational classes or job skill training;
  • attend life skills, health, employment, and education programs as directed; and
  • follow up with any recommended physical or dental treatment.
To advance to Phase III, you must have at least 90 days clean and be involved in your educational/employment plan. Your probation officer and treatment provider must recommend to the IDTC Treatment Team and the Judge that you are ready to move on to the next phase
Remember that your moving to the next phase will be based on your own progress and your ability to stay focused on what you must do to meet all of the IDTC program rules and expectations.

13Phase III ­ Community Transition

Once you are admitted to this phase you are well on your way to graduation. During this phase you will be completing treatment and maintaining contact with your probation officer. Your probation officer will assist you in enrolling in school or job training or finding a job. You will still be required to appear in court once every 3 weeks or as scheduled, give urine screens as directed and have contact or meet with your probation officer at least once a week or as directed.

During this phase you will meet with the Family Services Coordinator to plan and complete a "Giving Back to the Community" service project. You will design this project alone or with other Phase III participants. It will assist you in taking responsibility for your actions and continue your work towards repairing the harm caused to victims and/or the community.

This is the last phase of your program before graduation. In order to graduate you must complete this phase. You must also:

  • report to your probation officer as directed, at least once per week;
  • permit random unannounced home visits by probation officers;
  • report to Drug Treatment Court every 3 weeks;
  • attend group and individual counseling as recommended;
  • be subject to random drug screening, up to 2 times per week;
  • actively participate in your education/employment plan;
  • attend life skills, health, employment, and education programs as directed;
  • plan and complete a community service project as directed; and
  • participate in victim/offender mediation as directed.
The final decision about your readiness to graduate will be made by the IDTC Judge.

Your probation officer will let you know when the Judge has decided that you are eligible for graduation. You must then complete your Graduation Interview Form, submit it as directed, and attend a graduation review panel.


The IDTC program Commencement Certificate marks your formal graduation from IDTC and the start of your lifelong work to remain sober and protective.diploma

Graduation is a time to celebrate your transition to a healthy lifestyle.

You will be able to invite your family and friends to join you at your IDTC Commencement Ceremony. This special event is a celebration of your accomplishments and marks the beginning of your new way of life.
Following your graduation, you will be invited to participate in the IDTC Alumni group.  This group is provided to help you continue to succeed. An open invitation is extended to you and your family to continue to get support from the IDTC program. Sobriety is a lifetime effort!


Ithaca Drug Treatment Court Expectations

What else is expected of me?

As you can see, you are expected to follow a set of basic rules. Some other expectations have to do with how you act in court, and the things you must do to follow your own treatment plan.

The rules require that everyone in Treatment Court will:

  • treat others with respect;
  • follow a dress code;
  • refrain from possession, sale or use of drugs and alcohol;
  • comply with urine testing and alcohol breath testing; and
  • refrain from breaking the law again.
The expectations you set up with your probation officer will probably also cover areas of:
  • housing;
  • healthcare;
  • employment and education; and
  • life skills education.
These expectations are explained in detail in the next pages.


Treatment of Others:

You should respect the opinions and feelings of other people in Treatment Court. Verbal or physical threats to anyone in the program or any member of IDTC will not be tolerated. Any such behavior will immediately be reported to the Court and may result in a severe sanction or your termination from the program.

You will not be asked to be an informant in this program. You will not be expected or encouraged to discuss any information concerning anyone's behavior or progress except your own.

Dress Code:

You will be required to dress appropriately for your court sessions and treatment appointments. Clothing bearing drug and alcohol related themes or advertising alcohol or drug use is considered inappropriate. Sunglasses are not to be worn in court unless approved by a doctor.

Refrain from Further Possession or Use of Drugs:

You will not possess, sell, or use alcohol or illegal drugs.

You will be required to report all drug or alcohol use to the Judge at each court appearance.

  • Repeat substance use will result in a Service Work Alternative Program (SWAP) sanction and may require increased treatment attendance.
  • Failure to report drug or alcohol use will result in a jail sanction.
  • Any drugs that a doctor prescribes for you must be reported to your probation officer immediately.

Drug and Alcohol Screening:

One of the primary goals of IDTC is to help you remain abstinent from alcohol and all non-prescribed drugs. You will be tested throughout the entire program. The Judge will have access to all drug results including failures or refusals to test, and may order a drug test at any time. A positive test or admission of alcohol or other drug use will not disqualify you but may result in a sanction or change in treatment. Drug screens may be conducted at your drug treatment facility, during court appearances, during your home visits, or at any other time.
You will be required to report all drug or alcohol use to the Judge at each court appearance.  Repeat substance use will result in a Service Work Alternative Program (SWAP) sanction and may result in increased treatment attendance. Failure to report drug or alcohol use will result in a jail sanction. Any drugs that a doctor prescribes for you must be reported to your probation office immediately.

Housing: houses

Stable housing is necessary for recovery. Before you make a change in your living situation you must discuss it with your probation officer and the Treatment Court Judge. Your probation officer can help you identify better housing if needed.

Please refer to page 22 of the booklet for more information about the IDTC program Support Services.


Refrain from Further Violations of the Law:

You are required to refrain from further violation of the law. Additional offenses may result in being terminated from the IDTC program.


You are expected to seek medical attention when needed. You are also expected to follow through on medical advice. You may also be asked to provide evidence to the court of medical conditions or appointments. Any prescribed drugs must be reported to your probation officer immediately.

Please refer to page 24 of the booklet for more information about the health component of the IDTC program Support Services.

Please refer to page 25 of the booklet for more information about the education and life skills components of the IDTC program Support Services.

Please refer to page 26 of the booklet for more information about the employment component of the IDTC program Support Services.


What if I don't follow the rules?

If you break the rules of the court you may be subjected to a sanction. Doing any of the following may result in a sanction:

t New arrest or other police contact
t Leaving a treatment program
t Breaking the rules at a Treatment Program (not resulting in termination)
t Positive urine or alcosensor tests, or admission of use
t Failure to take a drug test (urine screen and/or alcohol tests)
t Attempts to falsify drug tests
t Missing or arriving late for group or individual treatment appointments or any other IDTC appointments
t Missing or arriving late for Drug Court appearances
t Failure to follow the direction of the Drug Court Judge or probation officers
t Demonstrating a lack of program progress

20Sanctions in IDTC may include, but are not limited, to the following:

1. Verbal warning or admonishment;
2. Essay assignment;
3. Increased urine testing;
4. Increased attendance at IDTC sessions;
5. Attendance at weekday City Court sessions;
6. Increased Probation appointments;
7. SWAP assignment;
8. Placement in an earlier program phase or repetition of a phase;
9. Additional 12 step meetings;
10. A higher level of treatment;
11. Incarceration; and
12. Dismissal from the Treatment Court.
Incentives for progress in IDTC may include:
1. Weekly Fireball Awards;
2. Recreational activities;
3. Decrease in urine testing;
4. Decrease in attendance at Court;
5. Certificates of Completion;
6. Graduation;
7. Dismissal or reduction of charges;
8. Sobriety and a drug free life.


Support Services

As an IDTC Participant you will be required to participate in IDTC Support Services. It is essential that you develop the skills that will allow you to build a lasting recovery that will help you for the rest of your life. The team recognizes that recovery is not an easy process, but we praise your effort and courage to change. Together, we can make it work.
The purpose of the IDTC Program Support Services Team is make resources available to you and your family that will help you overcome stress, problems and conflicts that may block your recovery process.  The IDTC Program Support Services Team is here to help you and your family build the skills that you may need to succeed in the IDTC program.



The orientation will consist of a group meeting with Drug Court participants and two team members where the entire program will be highlighted. The orientation itself will cover the details of each phase and places a special emphasis on health, family, education, and employment.

At the time of the orientation, you will be able to ask questions or get clarification about any issue related to the Drug Court Program. Legal questions about your case should be directed to your attorney.

Drug Court is required to follow-up with you after you leave the program. This follow-up is not intended to identify you individually; or to sanction you. Its purpose is to get an idea of how people in the program do after they leave and to measure how well the program is doing.

The Drug Court Coordinator is responsible for collecting this data, and he or she will contact you after you complete the program to get this information. You will learn more about this process from the coordinator.


You will complete a substance abuse evaluation before enrolling in the IDTC program. Our interest in helping you build a healthy lifestyle does not stop there. Developing positive health habits and knowing how to handle physical and emotional setbacks is vital for your success in recovery.  As a participant in this program, you will be supported in dealing effectively with current medical conditions and in learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The IDTC program requires that you schedule and complete a comprehensive physical and dental exam and begin following through on any recommendations before you move from Phase I to Phase II. During Phase II you must schedule and complete a mental health evaluation and follow through on any treatment recommendations.
Throughout your participation in the IDTC program you will be required to attend health information workshops either in small groups or individually. The workshops may include conflict resolution, nutrition, HIV prevention, and any other health related topics. IDTC Treatment Team members will help you schedule participation in the workshops.
group of people


An important step in building your recovery is to begin doing things differently in all areas of your life including education and employment.

During Phase I of the IDTC program the IDTC Employment Specialist will meet with you to create an Individual Employment and Education Plan. Participants in Drug Court have different needs and interests. Your plan will be developed to meet those needs and interests, but remember that the purpose of the IEEP is to build a plan that will develop your education, employment and life skills. Your IEEP may include any of these areas:

& Life Skills: perhaps you need help creating a budget to be able to manage living expenses or pay back loans, or maybe you would like to learn how to be a better parent. We can provide help, or make referrals to other agencies, in these and in other areas where you feel you could use more information.

& GED: work toward your high school equivalency diploma.

person sitting at computer& Vocational: we can help you find job training in many fields, from food service and haircutting to computer technology and auto mechanics.

& College: if you are ready to take this step, we can help you with decisions about when and where to go and how to afford it.

We have an adult educator on staff who will work with anyone who needs a GED and who will also provide instruction in many life skills areas. This type of work may be done in one-on-one sessions or small groups.

Depending on your needs and interests, referrals may be made to other local educational resources, such as BOCES, Cooperative Extension, and TC3.


Finding and keeping a meaningful full-time job that you like is an important part of building lasting success in recovery. The employment coordinator will help you in meeting your employment goals. This work will include persistence in:

t Discover what your interests and skills are;
t Locating and enrolling in the right training;
t Getting ready for work (including transportation, child care arrangements, proper clothing, etc.);
t Locating the right job (including resume preparation, interview skills, and specific job referrals); and
t Learning how to keep a job or advance in the one that you have.
person sitting at computer
construction worker

The devolopment of your IEEP and the implementation of your education and employment plans will be done with the IDTC Employment Specialist in individual or small group sessions, and through referrals to appropriate community agencies.


Mediation shaking hands

In cooperation with the Community Dispute Resolution Center, Ithaca Drug Treatment Court offers family services. The primary role of the CDRC Family Services Coordinator is to focus on family issues, communication, and events that may prevent you from succeeding in your recovery program. The Family Services Coordinator will also able to help you deal with a number of other issues:

  • Landlord-Tenant: negotiating housing, leases, rent, deposits, securing belongings, exploring alternatives, etc.
  • Employer-Employee: negotiating with employer a leave of absence, maintaining your job, personnel issues, etc.
  • Client-Agency: working to get benefits in place, exploring services, etc.
  • Neighbors/Roommates/Housemates: dealing with disputes, problems, communication, finances, house rules, etc.
  • Victim-Offender: when appropriate, meeting with the victim to talk about the incident, make things right, etc.
  • Visitation-Custody: working out agreements about the custody of children and allowing for visitation by other family members.
  • Giving Back to the Community: repairing harm and rebuilding your relationship to the community; might include victim-offender mediation, victim impact panel, financial restitution, or a community service project.
At the appropriate time, the Family Services Coordinator will contact family members and/or close friends to enlist their support. Also, this person may help you identify issues that need to be resolved. The Family Services Coordinator will either work alone or with a specially trained mediator.


Giving Back to the Community

During Phase III, CDRC's Family Services Coordinator will assist you in finding ways to "pay back" the people you directly or indirectly affected. The goal of the project is to repair the harm and rebuild your relationship with the community. Restorative justice principles and practices will be explained to you and a project will be developed that might include victim-offender mediation, victim impact panel, financial restitution, or a community service project.

Clients of Color Group

This group focuses on issues that affect people of color (i.e. substance abuse, racism, oppression, spirituality, relationships, and other issues of concern). All clients are welcome. The group meets at the IDTC satellite office on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

28Relapse Triggers and Relapse Prevention

Relapse and triggers can happen at any time in many different ways. Your probation officer and treatment counselors will help you identify them and discuss ways to either prevent bad situations or to work through them when they cannot be avoided.

Relapse triggers can include:

o hanging around with people who are drinking and drugging
    o going to places where you used in the past
    o spending time thinking about "the parties" and forgetting about the problems your use created
    o fights with loved ones
    o bad luck, disappointments
    o good luck, celebration events, holidays
    o medicine, even prescription drugs, that can get you high
stop sign
Remember! For people in recovery, triggers and cravings are not an excuse to use - they are a reason to go to a meeting and to call a recovery friend to get more support.


Important Names and Numbers:
Ithaca Drug Treatment Court Satellite Office
Center Ithaca, Suite 225A 
Box 136 
171 E. State Street 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
Phone -607-277-1455 
Fax - 607-277-1491
Alcoholism Council of Tompkins County
201 E. Green St. Ste. 500 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
Phone - 607-274-6288 
Fax - 607-274-6280
Alpha House Outpatient
102 E. State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850 
Phone - 607-273-5500 
Fax - 607-273-1277
Mental Health Clinic 
201 E. Green Street 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
Phone - 607-274-6200 
Fax - 607-274-6316
Ithaca City Court 
118 E. Clinton Street 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
Phone - 607-273-2263 
Fax - 607-277-3702
Community Dispute Resolution Center
120 West State Street 
Ithaca, NY 4850 
Phone - 607-273-9347 
Fax - 607-275-9225

Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous

An AA/NA schedule can be obtained from the Treatment
Court, your Probation Officer and/or your treatment provider.
You can also call one of the numbers listed below to find a meeting.

Alcoholics Anonymous: 607-273-1541
Narcotics Anonymous: 607-387-8292
Circle of Recovery: 607-277-6124

30My thoughts, notes and important names,
numbers and appointments to remember












Important names and numbers to know:

My Attorney:

Name __________________Phone #_____________

My Probation Officer:

Name __________________Phone #_____________

My Treatment Program:

Alcoholism Council (ACTC) or Alpha House (AHO) [circle one]

Name __________________Phone #_____________


My thoughts, notes and important names,
numbers and appointments to remember