New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

About the Court

The Brooklyn Treatment Court (BTC) opened in Kings County Supreme Court in 1996 and offers substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration for nonviolent defendants. The Court aims to reduce crime by recognizing the role that substance abuse plays in criminal behavior. Viewing an arrest as a window of opportunity, the Court uses the criminal justice system to motivate offenders to commit themselves to recovery with the support of a dedicated clinical team and treatment providers. BTC provides for the early identification of offenders who may be eligible to participate in treatment and early intervention for those identified. BTC strives to hold participants accountable for their behavior while also encouraging them to engage in evidence based substance use treatment.

The Brooklyn Treatment Court model includes close judicial monitoring, specialized assessment and treatment services, medical and psychiatric evaluation, comprehensive case management services, incentives and sanctions, and frequent random drug and alcohol testing. The goal of BTC is to streamline the screening, assessment and referrals process, creating effective linkages between the criminal justice and treatment community, ensuring that participants have rapid access to all of the evidence based treatments available.

Case managers at the Brooklyn Treatment Court evaluate each eligible defendant’s need for treatment, determine the appropriate treatment modality (e.g., outpatient or residential), and find a suitable community-based treatment provider. When indicated, case managers can requisition medical tests or a psychological evaluation. Case managers can also assist defendants in obtaining insurance coverage for their treatment.

Ultimately the Brooklyn Treatment Court works to decrease the prevalence of substance abuse within the criminal justice system by fostering an environment conducive to the special needs of eligible defendants, including individualized treatment and services, rigorous case management, and assistance in vocational, educational, and/or employment needs, which help participants reach their full potential and successfully transition back into society.