The Drug Court concept involves leveraging the coercive power of the criminal justice system to achieve abstinence and alter criminal behavior through the combination of judicial supervision, intensive treatment, on-going drug testing, incentives, sanctions, and case management. A Drug Court is a special problem-solving court program given the responsibility to handle cases involving alcohol and/or drug-addicted non-violent offenders.
The Judge plays an essential role in monitoring the participants' progress in treatment, supporting positive behavior and dispensing immediate sanctions for noncompliance with program requirements. The courtroom setting is nonadversarial. There is frequent conversation between the Judge and each participant during the Drug Court session.
The design and structure of drug court programs are developed at the local level, to reflect the unique strengths, circumstances and capacities of each community.
The Adult Drug Court program in the Third Judicial District Court began via a Federal Office of Justice Programs grant in 1998. A second Federal grant was received in 2000 and extended through February 2003. At present, the program is funded via monies from the New Mexico Legislature. The Program Director is responsible for the operations of the Adult Drug Court program exclusively for the Third Judicial District Court and serves as a resource for drug court matters for the lower courts within the judicial district.
Drug courts strive to reduce recidivism and to create options within the criminal justice system to tailor effective and appropriate responses to participants with substance abuse problems. Participants are supervised by a Probation Officer from the Corrections Department. In addition, the Court employs surveillance officers who conduct random home visits and substance abuse testing. The Adult Drug Court Program does adhere to the Ten Key Components required of a drug court program and also utilizes best practices in the administration of the program.
Type of Cases Referred
- Deferred Prosecution (pre-adjudication)
- Probation Violation
- Dual Probation/Parole Cases
Screening and assessment services; individual, group, family and couples counseling; Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT); frequent and random drug and alcohol testing performed by the Drug Court Surveillance Officers, the supervising probation officers and the Treatment Provider; psychological evaluations if necessary; referrals to in-patient treatment programs as may be appropriate; 12 step programming; relapse group sessions; gender specific treatment groups; and an aftercare component.
- The Program will strive to reduce recidivism.
- The Program will represent itself as a viable alternative sentencing option for the Court.
- The Program will offer comprehensive treatment to participants.
- The Program will encourage on-going drug court team development.
As of July 1, 2008, the contracted treatment provider for the ADC is NAVA Counseling Services. NAVA is located at 715 E. Idaho St., Suite 4B, Las Cruces, NM 88001. The main telephone number is 575-524-2505. Mr. Lee King, LADAC. NCAC. SAP is the Executive Director.
There are two District Judges assigned to the Adult Drug Court Program. The team consists of the Judges, Program Staff from the Court, and representatives from the following offices: Third Judicial District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's office, the Adult Probation-Parole Office of the New Mexico Corrections Department, the Las Cruces Police Department, the Dona Ana County Detention Center and the contracted treatment provider.
The Adult Drug Court Program has developed linkages within the community that are beneficial for both the participants and the various community agencies.
In 2007 the Adult Drug Court Program began its Community Pride community service component. Community Pride offers participants opportunities to perform community service during the week as well as on the weekend. Our program’s Community Pride participants have performed community service through the Codes Department of the City of Las Cruces, playgrounds of the Las Cruces Public Schools, and the City Parks Department. The Court Surveillance Officers manage the Community Pride community service component. For information about our Community Pride component, call 575-528-8395.