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What to Know About Court Mandated Treatment in Colorado

Written on January 7, 2023
What to Know About Court Mandated Treatment in Colorado

Answering legal questions about Court Mandated Treatment in Colorado.

Guest post by Veronica Gordon, a legal content writer who works with the Law Offices of J.B. Katz, P.C. based in Breckenridge, Colorado. 

Substance abusers enter treatment programs in many ways–some seek help by their own volition, while others are ordered to by the justice system. However, even if drug treatment is mandated, clinicians have noted that court-ordered individuals often do want to receive treatment.

Court mandated treatment attempts to address and fix the cause of the crime. It treats crime as a symptom of a problem, and one that can be treated, rather than simply punished. A judge may opt for treatment as an alternative to jail time in the hopes of reducing recidivism and encouraging sobriety. Read on to learn more about court mandated treatment offered in Colorado.

Court Mandated Treatment and Colorado Drug Courts

A Colorado drug court is often the entity sentencing a person to a treatment program, monitoring progress in treatment, and releasing a person from their program. Court mandated treatment is often a consequence of drug court or a condition of probation. Individuals are eligible for drug court if they are a first-time offender possessing a small quantity of drugs without the intent to sell.

Expectations in Court Mandated Treatment Programs

Mandated treatment programs, such as one issued by a drug court, have different phases. In each phase, there are different expectations for the participant. These include regular check-ins, drug testing, and therapy sessions. In Colorado’s Drug Court program, there are three phases required to graduate. During this process, they have to appear before a court and meet with individuals such as probation officers, mental health clinicians, and lawyers to report their status. These stipulations are intended to help educate the offender about addiction and hold them accountable in their sobriety.

If the participant doesn’t follow the program or fails a drug test, they can expect to receive sanctions. Sanctions could include relapse prevention classes, increased drug screenings, jail sentencing, and more. The severity of a sanction depends on the individual’s offense.

On the other hand, individuals are rewarded for being active participants in their program. They may receive progress chips, fee reductions for in patient or educational programs, or earlier review hearings as a result of their hard work.

Upon graduating from drug court, participants take part in a graduation where they can speak on their accomplishments and invite their family and friends.

Are Court Mandated Treatments Effective?

Mental health treatment, drug and alcohol education, and a supervising entity combined make court mandated treatment programs effective for individuals struggling with drug addiction. It offers resources to help them reintegrate back into society and keeps them accountable.

Studies have shown that court mandated treatment is an effective way to reduce crime rate and recidivism. Another benefit is that court mandated treatments are offered at a lower cost to the individual, so it makes treatment accessible to more people.

Nevertheless, ultimately the effectiveness of court mandated treatment largely depends on two factors: the willingness of the participant to engage in the program and the ability of the provider offering the treatment.

To learn more about our holistic treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction, contact us.