How does Drug Court work?
Participation in drug court is voluntary and operates under VA Code Section 18.2-254.1. Clients enter Drug Court under a plea agreement between the Commonwealth and the defendant which recognizes successful completion of drug court will result in dismissal of charges while failure to complete the program will result in immediate incarceration. While in Drug Court clients are allowed to remain in the community while being supervised by various Drug Court staff.
Who is eligible for services?
- Persons who are 18 years or older;
- Are charged with a felony drug offense or a felony property offense in Chesterfield county or the City of Colonial Heights;
- Have no prior convictions for felony violence, sex offenses or drug distribution;
- Meet DSM criteria for substance abuse dependence;
- Live within 30 minutes of the Chesterfield Courthouse;
- Are able to physically and mentally participate in drug court activities;
- Agree to participate in drug court.
How long is an individual generally in Drug Court?
As designed, the Drug Court Program consists of five phases that can be completed in approximately fifteen months. However, the average participant takes 21-24 months to complete it successfully. During this time, participants will be subjected to strict and frequent supervision by probation (three to four times per week), intensive drug treatment (attend treatment approximately three times per week in earlier phases), and close judicial monitoring.
What is required in Drug Court?
- Subject to random and frequent drug/alcohol testing (often three or more times per week.)
- Weekly attendance in intensive treatment program.
- Frequent meetings and interaction with Probation Officers and Police Officer.
- Subject to random and frequent searches of their person, vehicle and home.
- Appearances before the court are weekly in phase 1, decreasing as you move throughout the program.
- Travel constraints and curfews.
- Regular employment of 30 hrs. per week or participation in an approved education program.
- Weekly attendance of self-help meetings (AA/NA.)
What is the non-compliance process?
If a client violates the conditions of supervision by testing positive for illegal substances, not reporting for a drug test, missing scheduled appointments, absconding from supervision, or violation of any other agreed upon condition, supervision will notify the court. It will be at the discretion of the court as to the legal course of action taken against the client for alleged violations.
Is there a cost to participate in the Drug Court Program?
Yes, participants will pay a monthly fee of $75.
Can I attend a session of Drug Court?
We encourage individuals who are interested in learning more about Drug Court to come to a session. Drug Court is held in the Chesterfield Circuit Court every Wednesday. Court begins at 8:30am and runs until approximately 10am. To schedule a visit, please contact Melanie Meadows, the Drug Court Administrator, at 804-717-6801.