HB 2 Modifies provisions relating to specialty courts including DWI courts, drug courts, and veterans treatment courts

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

HB 2 - This act modifies provisions relating to specialty courts including DWI courts, drug courts, and veterans treatment courts.

This act allows judicial circuits to establish treatment court divisions. Such divisions shall have jurisdiction to hear cases involving substance-involved offenders and to make use of comprehensive supervision, drug or alcohol testing, and treatment services. The treatment court divisions may contain specialized courts such as adult treatment court, DWI court, family treatment court, juvenile treatment court, or veterans treatment court. Upon successful completion of the treatment court program, the charges or penalty against the offender may be dismissed, reduced, or modified.

An adult treatment court may be established by a circuit court to provide an alternative for the judicial system to dispose of cases which stem from substance use. Likewise, a DWI court may be established by a circuit court to dispose of cases that stem from driving while intoxicated. A family treatment court may be established by a circuit court and the juvenile division or the family court may refer one or more parents or other household members to such court if he or she is determined to have a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder, as defined in the act, that impacts the well-being of the children in the family.

The juvenile division of any circuit court may establish a juvenile treatment court. The juvenile division may refer juveniles to such court when the juvenile is determined to have committed acts that violate the criminal laws of the state and has a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder, which contributed to the commission of the offense.

A majority of the judges of the circuit court may designate one judge to hear cases in the treatment court division and act as a treatment court commissioner. The Supreme Court may assign a treatment court commissioner to serve in another treatment court division of another circuit, upon the approval of the presiding circuit judge of the receiving court.

Prior to each treatment court session, the treatment court team shall meet to discuss the treatment of a treatment court participant. A treatment court team shall consist of the judge, the treatment court administrator, the prosecutor, a public defender or member of the criminal defense bar, a representative from probation and parole, a representative from law enforcement, substance use disorder providers, and any other person selected by the treatment court team. The court shall make the final decision regarding the appropriate incentive or sanction to be applied to the participant based on information presented in the meeting.

When a defendant in a criminal case is determined eligible, the judge may order the defendant to the treatment court division for treatment 1) prior to the entry of the sentence; 2) as a condition of probation; or 3) upon consideration of a motion to revoke probation. A circuit that has a treatment court division may accept participants from any other jurisdiction based upon the residency of the participant in the receiving circuit or the unavailability of a treatment court in the transferring circuit. A transfer must be agreed upon by the parties to the action, the judge of the transferring court, and the judge of the receiving treatment court.

Each treatment court within a treatment court division shall establish criteria for determining eligibility of a participant in a treatment court and for determining successful completion of that treatment court program.

The Drug Courts Coordinating Commission is renamed the Treatment Courts Coordinating Commission, which is tasked with coordinating the allocation of resources to all treatment courts in the state. Likewise, the Drug Court Resources Fund is also renamed the Treatment Court Resources Fund. The Commission shall establish standards and practices for the courts of the treatment court divisions. Each treatment court shall adopt policies consistent with the standards established by the Commission. Treatment courts that do not comply with the Commission's standards shall be prohibited from accepting new participants and must submit a written plan for the completion of treatment for existing participants to the Commission and the Office of State Courts Administrator.

These provisions are substantially similar to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed version of HB 2562 (2018) and SCS/HB 1249 (2018).


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