Frequently Asked Questions - Drug Court Staff

Frequently Asked Questions - Drug Court Staff

An Adult Drug Court Team should consist of a Judge, Coordinator, Public Defender/Defense Attorney, Prosecutor, Evaluator, Treatment Provider, Law Enforcement Officer, and Probation Officer. For a description of roles, both for the planning process and for operational drug courts, please refer to the .pdf, located below, for the Core Competencies Guide.

National Drug Court Institute

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A steering committee shall be comprised of executive level personnel from each agency involved or impacted by the proposed drug court program. Members from non-court related community entities should also be considered when assembling a steering committee. These members should be considered for the political support or potential resources that they may bring to the table in support of the drug court planning process. Potential members should reflect a broad cross-section of the community. In this regard, members may include representatives of civic clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.), health agencies, local press/media, vocational/educational services, faith community, private foundations, etc.

The following information will assist you in beginning to identify who should serve on the drug court steering committee?

  • The proposed steering committee members should reflect a representative cross-section of your community
  • The steering committee are Key Stakeholders within the community that have a vested interest in the drug court program, the population you intend to serve, and the agencies impacted by the implementation of this model What possible resources could each prospective steering committee member bring to the drug court planning effort and ultimately, the oversight of your program?
  • How often will the steering committee meet to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug court and propose solutions to service gaps and political and physical barriers?


POTENTIAL STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Chief / Presiding Judge; Chief Prosecutor /Defense Counsel; Chief Private Counsel / Local Bar Assoc.; Chief Court Administrator / Clerk; Probation / Pretrial Services; Police Chief/Sheriff; Media/Community Groups; Substance Abuse Treatment Providers/Agencies; Mental Health Treatment Providers/Agencies; Other State Agencies- Education etc.; Vocational & Educational Communities; Job Skills -Training & Placement Agencies; Chamber of Commerce; Welfare to Work Programs; Victim Groups (MADD, etc); Anticrime and anti-drug coalitions; Ex-offender / ex-addict groups; Police or Sheriffs Association; Department of Corrections; For DWI Courts in addition to above list; MADD; Highway Traffic Safety Office.

National Drug Court Institute

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By way of analogy, the steering committee acts as a Board of Directors with respect to the planning team, which acts like officers of a corporation. Its purpose should include oversight of the planning process by expeditiously resolving policy issues regarding the planned drug court.

A steering committee should provide buy-in for the drug court concepts by the upper echelon of policy makers and stakeholders (e.g., elected prosecutor, presiding judge, chief public defender, etc.). In this manner, the actual planning committee, which may be comprised of non-executive level personnel, will be confident that the head of each participating agency has made drug court a priority and has delegated to them the authority to make decisions necessary to implement the planned drug court. The committee should have the clear purpose of supporting the drug court planning effort. It should meet on a regularly scheduled basis and have a procedure for communicating with or exercising supervision over the planning team.

National Drug Court Institute

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