AJC Drug Court

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Program Overview
The Augusta Judicial Circuit (AJC) Drug Court program is a minimum twenty-four month, five phase substance abuse treatment program. The AJC Drug Court program is an alternative to incarceration for the individual facing charges in Richmond, Columbia, or Burke County who can function in the community with support.  It is the goal of AJC Drug Court program to improve the quality of life and reduce recidivism and provide those who graduate a solid foundation upon which to build in order to become a productive member of our community.        

Program Mission & Purpose
The AJC Drug Court program’s mission is to reduce recidivism through substance abuse intervention combined with immediate judicial review and response that supports addressing the participant’s substance abuse problem through clinical counseling, frequent drug testing, and court appearances. The purpose of the AJC Drug Court program is to coordinate substance abuse interventions with judicial support with an immediate sanction and incentive process. The AJC Drug Court program is a coordinated effort between justice and treatment professionals, intended to break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime.  

Administration
The AJC Drug Court team includes the Judge, Program Coordinator, Treatment Provider, Assistant District Attorneys, Defense Attorneys, Case Managers, Administrative Staff, Law Enforcement, and Probation Service Representatives. All Team members work together to support each participant in addressing and combating the substance abuse issues that brought them into the criminal justice system.  The AJC Drug Court team meets every week to review the progress of every participant. 

Treatment Services 
Treatment services provide intensive therapeutic interventions with an emphasis on drug rehabilitation developed for participants enrolled in the AJC Drug Court program. The treatment model most often used is an outpatient model; however, where indicated, participants may be referred to and required to successfully complete a residential treatment program prior to beginning the outpatient program or, if necessary, during the outpatient program. Consistent with the AJC Drug Court program model, treatment begins with a thorough and complete assessment of a participant’s history and level of involvement with alcohol/drugs. Based on this assessment, the treatment provider will develop a treatment plan to address individualized rehabilitative services as needed.

Key Components of the AJC Drug Court Program
The AJC Drug Court program operates consistent with its Policy Manual, which incorporates the National Association of Drug Court Professionals' Drug Court Standards Committee's Ten Key Components of Drug Courts. Rules are well defined and easy to understand. Adherence to the Drug Court rules is within the individual's ability to control and comply. Success or failure is based on the participant's performance. The participant's performance is communicated directly to the Judge, who rewards progress or penalizes poor performance and noncompliance. Participants are encouraged to take control of their own recovery.

  1. Integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing 
  2. Promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights using a nonadversarial approach
  3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program
  4. Provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services 
  5. Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and drug testing 
  6. Use a coordinated strategy to govern drug court responses to participants’ compliance
  7. Provide regular judicial interaction with each drug court participant 
  8. Monitor and evaluate the achievement of program goals to gauge effectiveness 
  9. Provide each AJC Drug Court team member opportunities to attend training to promote effective planning, implementation, and operations of the program
  10. Forge partnerships among other drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations to generate support and enhance program effectiveness.