The County Attorney is a member of the Drug Court Team. Drug Court is a substance abuse diversion program designed to divert non-violent offenders from the criminal justice system into treatment and rehabilitative programming. The Fourth Judicial Drug Court is presently funded and has been operating in all nine counties of the judicial district since January 3, 2000. Drug Court convenes every Monday at 9:00 a.m. following a team review of each participant’s progress. The 18-24 month program involves an intensive treatment continuum with weekly judicial/client interaction.
Who is eligible?
All non-violent drug/drug related case offenders are eligible to make application to the program. Drug dealers are not eligible to participate; however, offenders who are selling drugs to support their addiction will be screened for appropriateness. Probation violators are eligible providing basic criteria are met.
Who may recommend a drug court participant?
The majority of referrals will come from county attorneys within the nine county district who initiate the trial information after receiving an application from a client’s attorney. Correctional Services may recommend probation violators. Drug Court Team members will screen applicants for program appropriateness. Applicants may be rejected.
What is the Drug Court Design Model?
Our Drug Court is a post-adjudication model. Following a guilty plea the offender is “sentenced” to Drug Court to comply fully with the program. Failure to do so may result in serving their initial sentence. Successful completion will result in a dismissal of their criminal offenses. The participant may elect to withdraw their plea and/or the Drug Court Team may elect to return the participant to the criminal docket to stand trial during the first four week period following acceptance of their plea. Upon transfer of the offender to Drug Court, further proceedings in criminal court are stayed pending final disposition of each case.
Why do we need Drug Court?
Drug Court is a specialized court with the responsibility of handling cases involving drug-using offenders. It has the capability of providing comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. It is cost effective—projected cost per participant is less than $5,000 per year in contrast to more than $24,000 per year in the penitentiary.
Do we have local law enforcement participation?
The Council Bluffs Police Department provides a liaison officer who attends Drug Court briefings, provides logistical support and surveillance assistance. In addition, sheriff departments throughout the nine county district provide assistance to the Drug Court Team as needed.
Drug Court Goals
For further information call 712.325.0782 and ask for the Drug Court Coordinator.