Specialty Court Programs

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  UPCOMING EVENTS:

September 4-5, 2019 - Juvenile Drug Court - Operational Tune-Up - Little Rock, AR

September 19, 2019 - Specialty Court Training (Team Roles, Incentives/Sanctions, Drug Testing) - Little Rock, AR

October 14, 2019 - ADCPA Fall Training - Pine Bluff, AR

October 15, 2019 - ADCPA Fall Training - Conway, AR

April 8-9, 2019 - Arkansas Specialty Court Conference - Little Rock, AR

May 27-29, 2019 - NADCP Conference - Anaheim, CA

DIVISION OF SPECIALTY COURTS:

Adult Drug Court

A specially designed court calendar or docket, the purposes of which are to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent substance abusing offenders and to increase the offender's likelihood of successful habilitation through early, continuous, and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, community supervision, and use of appropriate sanctions and other rehabilitation services.  

Juvenile Drug Court

A juvenile drug court is a docket within a juvenile court to which selected delinquency cases, and in some instances status offenders, are referred for handling by a designated judge. The youth referred to this docket are identified as having problems with alcohol and/or other drugs. The teams meet frequently, often weekly, determining how best to address the substance abuse and related problems of the youth and his/her family that have brought the youth into contact with the justice system.

Family Drug Court

Family drug court is a juvenile or family court docket of which selected abuse, neglect, and dependency cases are identified where parental substance abuse is a primary factor. Judges, attorneys, child protection services, and treatment personnel unite with the goal of providing safe, nurturing, and permanent homes for children while simultaneously providing parents the necessary support and services to become drug and alcohol abstinent. Family drug courts aid parents in regaining control of their lives and promote long-term stabilized recovery to enhance the possibility of family reunification within mandatory legal timeframes.

Mental Health Court

Modeled after drug courts and developed in response to the overrepresentation of people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system, mental health courts divert select defendants with mental illness into judicially supervised, community-based treatment. Currently, all mental health courts are voluntary. Defendants are invited to participate in the mental health court following a specialized screening and assessment, and they may choose to decline participation. For those who agree to the terms and conditions of community-based supervision, a team of court staff and mental health professionals work together to develop treatment plans and supervise participants in the community.

DWI Court

A DWI court is a distinct post-conviction court system dedicated to changing the behavior of the alcohol dependent repeat offender arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The goal of the DWI court is to protect public safety by using the drug court model to address the root cause of impaired driving: alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Variants of DWI courts include drug courts that also take DWI offenders, which are commonly referred to as "hybrid" courts. DWI courts often enhance their close monitoring of offenders using home and field visits, as well as technological innovations such as Ignition Interlock devices and the SCRAM transdermal alcohol detection device.

Veterans Treatment Court

Drug Courts around the county have seen rising numbers of veterans in their programs and sought to offer specialized services to address their unique needs. The Veterans Treatment Court model uses veterans as mentors to help defendants engage in treatment and counseling as well as partner with local Veteran Affairs offices to ensure that participants receive proper benefits. Veterans Treatment Courts have garnered national media attention and widespread interested in the Drug Court field.

Domestic Violence Court

A felony domestic violence court is designed to address traditional problems of domestic violence such as low reports, withdrawn charges, threats to victims, lack of defendant accountability, and high recidivism, by intense judicial scrutiny of the defendant and close cooperation between the judiciary and social services. A judge works with the prosecution, assigned victim advocates, social services, and the defense attorney to ensure physical separation between the victim and all forms of intimidation from the defendant or defendant's family throughout the entirety of the judicial process; provide the victim with the housing and job training needed to begin an independent existence from the offender; and continuously monitor the defendant in terms of compliance with protective orders and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, a case manager ascertains the victim's needs and monitors cooperation by the defendant, and close collaboration with defense counsel ensure compliance with due process safeguards and protects defendant's rights. Variants include the district court which handles larger volumes of cases and is designed to combat the progressive nature of the crime to preempt later felonies, and the integrated domestic violence court in which a single judge handles all judicial aspects relating to one family, including criminal cases, protective orders, custody, visitation, and divorce.

 

Upon request, courts can recieve written resource materials and/or personal assistance regarding any topics associated with specialty court programs - from resolving issues of judicial case assignment to identifying minimum standards for programs. The Specialty Courts Division is also available to assist courts in resolving legal issues and court procedural issues that arise in creating a specialty court program.

 

If you are interested in starting a specialty court program or for additional information about Arkansas Specialty Courts, please contact

     Janet Hawley

     State Specialty Court Coordinator

     Administrative Office of the Courts

     Phone: 1-800-950-8221

     Email:  janet.hawley@arcourts.gov.