This evaluation examines one local effort to systematize and broaden access to court-mandated treatment, the Screening and Treatment Enhancement Project (STEP), implemented in Brooklyn, New York in 2003. Brooklyn began offering court mandated treatment in 1990 with the founding of the District Attorney’s Drug Treatment Alternatives-to-Prison (DTAP) program and increased this capacity when the Brooklyn Treatment Court opened in 1996. In 2002, these two programs served almost 300 offenders. STEP was initiated as a pilot project of the Brooklyn Criminal Court in January 2003, with the purpose of greatly expanding access to court-mandated treatment. STEP project planners expanded the criteria for drug court eligibility to include several previously ineligible populations– chronic misdemeanor offenders, defendants charged with an array of nonviolent property offenses, and young adults aged 16-19. Additionally, the new protocol maintained the court’s existing pre-arraignment screening system, wherein all arrestees’ case files are reviewed for legal eligibility prior to arraignment, and eligible arraignment case files are flagged for automatic adjournment to drug court for an in-depth clinical assessment. Finally, the project opened two new drug courts: the Misdemeanor Brooklyn Treatment Court and the STEP Drug Court, to ensure the court had the capacity to serve the newly eligible and referred defendants. This evaluation examines the first four years of the STEP (2003-2006), with a focus on the impact of the enhanced system on the number and types of defendants found eligible, referred to and participating in court-mandated treatment through one of Brooklyn’s three drug courts or DTAP.
Expanding Access to Drug Court: An Evaluation of Brooklyn’s Centralized Drug Screening and Referral Initiative
by wpengine / Friday, 05 May 2017 / Published in Uncategorized