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Article Summary

Drug Diversion Program

A drug diversion program is dedicated to working with participants to successfully address their alcohol or drug related problems. Their goal is to eliminate any chemical dependency to alcohol or drugs, whereby the health and safety of the public is maintained.

Only defendants with certain charges and criminal histories are considered eligible for this voluntary program. In order to be considered, all participants must have .serious underlying substance abuse problems.. Participants are continually screened for suitability and may be determined unsuitable at any time during their participation in the drug diversion program, most commonly for noncompliance with program requirements. In such cases, clients are referred back to criminal court for more appropriate placement.

Graduates of a Drug Diversion Program

Graduates of a drug diversion program have fewer re-arrests following drug court referral than any of the other outcome groups. In most areas of the country, the average arrest rate for the drug court graduate group continues to decline from the first year post graduation through the third year post graduation.

Graduates of a drug diversion program show systematic and substantial increases in incomes following referrals to drug courts. However, this is not true for individuals who do not complete the program. Data on earnings from the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse revealed that graduates of the Drug Court program showed increased earnings and the increases significantly and substantially exceed those of other groups.

Numerous large-scale cost benefit analysis reveal that every dollar spent on drug treatment saves between $2 and $7 on law enforcement, corrections, health care, lost productivity, and welfare.

The average cost for the treatment component of a drug court program runs between $1,200 and $3,000 per participant, depending on the range of services provided. Savings in jail bed days alone have been estimated to be at least $5,000 per defendant.

Objectives of a Drug Diversion Program

  • To provide education to all participants. They provide factual, current, and accurate information about drug addiction. They explain the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the individual, the family, and the community
  • To provide encouragement and support to all participants to evaluate, understand, and accept responsibility for one's individual decision about the continued use or abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • To provide health nurturing models that contribute to each participant.s ability to make appropriate and permanent healthy lifestyle changes
  • Reduce substance use and related criminal activity
  • Enhance community safety
  • Reduce reliance on incarceration for non-violent drug dependant offenders
  • Hold drug dependent offenders accountable for their actions and decisions
  • Integrate substance abuse treatment with criminal justice case processing
  • Provide resources and support to assist the drug dependent offender in the acquisition of skills necessary for the maintenance of sobriety
  • Reduce the impact of drug related cases on criminal justice resources
  • Reward positive life changes while maintaining accountability for negative conduct

The PC 1000 Drug Diversion Program is a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in duration. A minimum 30 hours of treatment will be provided in the course of the program. Participation in a drug diversion program will consist of individual and group counseling sessions. Program services will also include, but are not limited to, educational sessions concerning drug abuse, HIV infection and AIDS, and tuberculosis as related to substance abuse. Involvement in a traditional self-help program is also required.

Requirements of a Drug Diversion Program

  • Attend ten (10) hours of individual counseling. Each session shall not be longer than (1) hour in length.
  • Attend ten (10) hours of group counseling. Each session shall not be longer than two (2) hours in length.
  • Attend five (5) hours of education sessions. Each session shall not be longer than two (2) hours in length.
  • Attend five (5) hours of relapse prevention sessions. Each session shall not be longer than two (2) hours in length.
  • Attend a minimum of ten (10) meetings in a self-help program during the course of program involvement.

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