Visit any courtroom in America and you will hear two words that call everyone to attention. As the judge enters the courtroom to take the bench the court officer loudly states “All Rise!” These two words inspire a sense of awe and respect for our judicial process.
What if the command “All Rise!” represented a promise? A Promise that the court will lighten the burden of people whose problems have become too difficult to overcome alone? What if “All Rise!” became a pledge by the court to look beyond the chaos and wreckage in people’s lives caused by addiction and instead to their potential? What if “All Rise!” offered the promise to provide the treatment and other tools needed to help people permanently change their lives?
When an addict arises out of addiction and crime; we all rise. When the cycle of drug addiction in a family is forever broken; we all rise. When a child is reunited with clean and sober parents; we all rise. When an addict never sees another pair of handcuffs or an emergency room; we all rise. When the court successfully guides an addicted offender to health and recovery; we all rise.
“All Rise!” is precisely the business underway in over 2600 Drug Courts throughout the United States of America.
What is a Drug Court
A drug court is a special docket (calendar) within the court system designed to treat addicted individuals and give them the tools they need to change their lives. The drug court judge serves as the leader of a team of professionals which can include; a program coordinator, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, probation officers, case managers, law enforcement, and treatment providers.
Eligible participants for the program are drug and or alcohol dependent who typically have been charged with a drug or alcohol related offense or other offenses deemed to have been caused as a result of their addiction such as theft, burglary, or forgery.