RD625 - Virginia Drug Treatment Court Dockets 2019 Annual Report
In fiscal year (FY) 2019, there were fifty-three (53) drug treatment court dockets approved to operate in Virginia. Approved programs included: thirty-nine (39) adult, seven (7) juvenile, four family and three (3) regional driving under the influence (DUI) drug treatment court dockets. Data from some of these dockets are not included in this report due to their recent start date or nonoperational status.
The goals of Virginia drug treatment court dockets are to:
• Reduce drug addiction and drug dependency among offenders;
• Reduce recidivism;
• Reduce drug-related court workloads;
• Increase personal, familial and societal accountability among offenders; and
• Promote effective planning and use of resources among the criminal justice system and community agencies.
The number of drug treatment court dockets is growing exponentially in the Commonwealth. Much of the recent growth is attributed to the 2012 budget language authorizing the Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee to consider approval of new drug treatment court dockets provided that they utilize existing resources and do not request state funds. The budget provision provides:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection O. of § 18.2-254.1, Code of Virginia, any locality is authorized to establish a drug treatment court supported by existing state resources and by federal or local resources that may be available. This authorization is subject to the requirements and conditions regarding the establishment and operation of a local drug treatment court advisory committee as provided by § 18.2-254.1 and the requirements and conditions established by the state Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee. Any drug court treatment program established after July 1, 2012, shall limit participation in the program to offenders who have been determined, through the use of nationally recognized, validated assessment tool, to be addicted to or dependent on drugs. However, no such drug court treatment program shall limit its participation to first-time substance abuse offenders only; nor shall it exclude probation violators from participation."(*1)
This report reviews the basic operations and outcomes of Virginia’s drug treatment court dockets in FY 2019. The analyses provided in this report were based on data entered for participants in Virginia’s drug treatment court dockets who were enrolled in a drug treatment court program after July 1, 2013 and completed (successfully or unsuccessfully) a drug treatment court docket program on or before June 30, 2019. The information provided includes measures of program participants including demographics, program entry offenses, length of program participation, graduation and termination, and rearrest/reconviction post program exit.
All data provided in this report are based on: 1) data extracted from the specialty docket information technology database developed and maintained by OES and 2) arrest data obtained from the Virginia State Police (VSP). The Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) requires the local Alcohol Safety Action Programs (ASAPs) to enter data in their Inferno Database (VASAP data base), and this data is routinely migrated into the specialty docket information technology database.
The juvenile drug treatment court docket model served slightly less than 100 participants among the seven programs during FY 2019. As a result, only basic data is included for this model. Only three (3) family drug treatment court dockets accepted participants during FY 2019. As a result, there is minimal data to report on this model.
Also, information provided in this report reviews several new best practices in the drug treatment court docket programs over the past ten years, such as the use of the Risk and Needs Triage (RANT) tool. RANT is a highly secure web-based decision support tool designed with criminal justice professionals in mind. The tool demonstrates how drug-involved offenders can be matched to the level of supervision and treatment best suited to both their criminogenic risks and clinical needs. RANT was selected to comply with the 2012 budget language noted above, “Any drug court treatment program established after July 1, 2012, shall limit participation in the program to offenders who have been determined, through the use of a nationally recognized, validated assessment tool, to be addicted to or dependent on drugs." RANT is easily administered by nonspecialists in 15 minutes or less and offers instant, individual participant-level reporting. RANT consists of 19 questions. Federal grant funds allowed OES to purchase the intellectual property to add RANT to the specialty docket information technology database for adult drug treatment court docket staff to use for each referral in order to target the high risk and high need candidates for acceptance.