AJC Felony Accountability Courts
Program OverviewThe Augusta Judicial Circuit (AJC) Adult Felony Drug Court program is a judicially led program that is a minimum of twenty-four month/maximum 36 month, five phase substance abuse treatment program. The AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program is an alternative to incarceration for the individual facing charges in Richmond, Columbia, or Burke County who can function in the community with support. It is the goal of AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program to improve the quality of life and reduce recidivism and provide those who graduate a solid foundation upon which to build in order to become a productive member of our community.
Program Mission & PurposeThe AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program’s mission is to reduce recidivism through substance abuse intervention combined with immediate judicial review and response that supports addressing the participant’s substance abuse problem through clinical counseling, frequent drug testing, and court appearances. The purpose of the AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program is to coordinate substance abuse interventions with judicial support with an immediate sanction and incentive process. The AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program is a coordinated effort between justice and treatment professionals, intended to break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime.
AdministrationThe AJC Adult Felony Drug Court team includes the Judge, Program Coordinator, Treatment Provider, Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office, Defense Attorney Representatives, Case Managers, Administrative Staff, Law Enforcement, and Probation Service Representatives. All Team members work together to support each participant in addressing and combating the substance abuse issues that brought them into the criminal justice system.
The AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program provides treatment services for intensive therapeutic interventions with an emphasis on drug rehabilitation and changing criminogenic thinking. The treatment model most often used is an outpatient model; however, where indicated, participants may be referred to and required to successfully complete a residential treatment program prior to beginning the outpatient program or, if necessary, during the outpatient program. Consistent with the AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program model, treatment begins with a thorough and complete assessment of a participant’s history and level of involvement with alcohol/drugs. Based on this assessment, the treatment provider will develop a treatment plan to address individualized rehabilitative services as needed.
Key Components of the AJC Drug Court ProgramThe AJC Adult Felony Drug Court program operates consistent with its Policy Manual, which incorporates the National Association of Drug Court Professionals' Drug Court Standards Ten Key Components of Drug Court Programs. Rules are well defined and easy to understand. Adherence to the Adult Felony Drug Court rules is within the individual's ability to control and comply. Success or failure is based on the participant's performance. The participant's performance is communicated directly to the Judge, who rewards progress or penalizes poor performance and noncompliance. Participants are encouraged to take control of their own recovery.
- Integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing
- Promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights using a nonadversarial approach
- Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program
- Provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services
- Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and drug testing
- Use a coordinated strategy to govern drug court responses to participants’ compliance
- Provide regular judicial interaction with each drug court participant
- Monitor and evaluate the achievement of program goals to gauge effectiveness
- Provide each AJC Drug Court team member opportunities to attend training to promote effective planning, implementation, and operations of the program
- Forge partnerships among other drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations to generate support and enhance program effectiveness.