Admission into the Douglas County Adult Drug Court is based on the felony offender’s written application/petition and approval by the Douglas County Attorney after; review of the offender’s criminal history; review of the circumstances of the charged offense; review of offender’s criminal history by the Drug Court Coordinator; and of course, approval by the Drug Court Judge in the signing of the Admission Order.
The target populations are individuals that have been charged with felony offenses in the Douglas County jurisdiction. This population is required to have a verbalized drug or alcohol problem, be willing to seek recommended treatment services, and adhere to court expectations. The Drug Court’s format is a post plea format offering open Drug Court twice weekly shared between four sitting District Court Judges.
Offenders admitted into the drug court are required to formally enter a plea of guilty on their charge(s). They are informed at this plea hearing that they are not guaranteed admission, but must first be approved for admission by the Drug Court team. After the initial Drug Court hearing, the new participant is provided with an orientation/intake before they are moved into phase I of a three-phase system. Drug Court Case Supervisors here in the Adult Drug Court are typically dually credentialed, maintaining both a mental health/substance abuse licensure from the state of Nebraska. Drug Court duration can range from 12 to 18 months or longer. Timeframes vary and are dependant upon each individual’s level of participation and needs.
The Douglas County Adult Drug Court is supervised by the Douglas County District Court. The Douglas County Drug Court program office employs a coordinator, a treatment coordinator, four case supervisors, a secretary, a bailiff, and two lab technicians.
For all Adult Drug Court admissions, all four District Court Judges share Drug Court responsibilities, including but not limited to, acceptance of all pleas. Conversely, at the unfortunate timeframe of a participant’s termination, participants are sentenced by the same judge that took their initial plea, usually in a Drug Court hearing.
For all participants, once they have completed all graduation requirements a formal graduation/commencement ceremony is held recognizing the accomplishments, and honoring the graduates for their commitment. The following phase structure identifies the current phases through which all participants proceed:
Parts of the Program include: