New Jersey drug courts provide certain non-violent drug offenders an alternative to traditional criminal court. “Drug courts” function within the New Jersey Superior Court system and keep non-violent offenders out of jail if they follow a highly structured and strictly monitored substance abuse program. The goal is to address an individual’s underlying addiction as a way to deter further criminal activity.
Drug Courts are run by a team of professionals aimed at putting non-violent offenders “on the right track.” The drug court team typically includes a judge, attorneys, substance abuse evaluators, probation officers and other staff and treatment professionals.
Drug courts focus on rehabilitation by providing individuals in the program treatment for substance abuse along with education, health care and job training. Those in the program must undergo frequent drug tests, make scheduled court appearances and comply with strict rules set forth for their treatment and recovery.
Attorney Tara Breslow has worked with numerous individuals throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and Union County to determine whether the drug court program is right for them, and if so, has helped them get admitted to the program. She is a firm believer that providing an alternative to incarceration enables non-violent drug offenders the opportunity to change the direction of their lives. Drug courts can grant individuals a fresh start by providing them with the tools to succeed under a closely monitored structure. Locking up those facing non-violent drug charges does little to rehabilitate those with underlying drug dependency.
In 2012, Drug Court has caught the attention of Governor Chris Christie, as he has made tremendous efforts to expand the current Drug Court Program, in order to allow more non-violent offenders who suffer from addiction problems to enter into the program. Those who might have been immediately rejected from entrance into the Drug Court Program prior the Governor’s Legislation, might now be afforded the opportunity for entrance into the Drug Court Program.
As the Governor is aware, the rate of recidivism for those who complete the Drug Court Program is minimal, especially in comparison to the high rate of recidivism for criminal offenders. Governor Christie’s goal is to expand the amount of people who suffer from drug addiction to enter into the Drug Court program instead of being incarcerated. This Bill allows for mandatory Drug Court programs to be expanded over a five year time period. One year from now, the Director of the Courts will pick three vicinages to start with the expansion and every year three more vicinages will be added. Additionally, Governor Christie allowed an additional $2.5 million in funding for the programs expansion.
Most significantly, this Bill allows those nonviolent offenders to enter into Drug Court and those charged with second-degree offenses will now be eligible for the program as well. In addition, currently there is a lengthy application process to get into the program and those applicants must show a strong desire to enter and complete the program. With this new legislation, offenders do not necessarily have to be seeking drug treatment and they might still be sentenced to a drug program regardless of their desire to enter into treatment.
This is a monumental time for those who suffer from drug addiction to enter into the Drug Court Program. Ms. Breslow is very familiar with the Drug Court system and can help those seeking to avoid incarceration enter into the program.
New Jersey Criminal Attorney Tara Breslow has worked with many clients to determine whether they are good candidates for drug courts. She understands the need for a personalized approach facing drug related offenses, and the need to address the underlying dependency issues in an alternative manner.