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Arizona drug court – an overview

For some, drug use issues may lead to criminal activities. As a result, people struggling with substance abuse may find themselves facing charges and potentially serious penalties. Fortunately, however, the state offers a drug court program that provides an alternative to the traditional criminal punishments, including fines and jail time.

Those facing drug charges may benefit from understanding how the Maricopa County Adult Drug Court works.

Eligibility requirements

Not all those who face drug charges have eligibility for the drug court program. Rather, only those who meet specific requirements may receive approval for participation. According to The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County, the entry criteria for the drug court program includes the following:

  • Maintain residence in the drug court supervision area
  • A current risk assessment of medium-high or high risk
  • A history of moderate to severe drug use
  • Charged with a felony offense with at least a two-year probation grant

Program requirements

According to The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County, program participation requires enrollees to attend group counseling sessions, support group meetings and health care literacy classes. Additionally, they must submit to random drug testing, usually as many as five to eight times per month. Failing to meet these or other stipulations as specified by program administrators or the court may result in sanctions. Sanctions participants face range from writing assignments and community service hours to curfews, increased reporting and brief incarceration.

Incarceration does not always equate to recidivation for those dealing with substance abuse issues. However, options such as the drug court program may put them on a path to recovery, and hopefully, free of criminal activity.