Visit the Florida State Courts web site.
Read the Guide to Florida’s Court System, published by the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Court System Consists of:
- Florida Supreme Court
- District Courts of Appeal
- Circuit Courts
- County Courts
Classifications of Crimes:
- Capital Felony
- Life Felony
- Felony in the First Degree
- Felony in the Second Degree
- Felony in the Third Degree
- Misdemeanor in the First Degree
- Misdemeanor in the Second Degree
Visit the Florida State Courts/Drug Court website.
Drug courts were controversial when they first came on the scene in the mid-1980’s. But they have been very successful. The idea behind drug courts was to take drug crimes out of the criminal court and have a special court devoted to drug offenses that would emphasize treatment intervention.
- Incarceration in and of itself does little to break the cycle of illegal drug use.
- Drug abuse treatment is proven to reduce both drug abuse and drug-related crime.
Core Elements of a Drug Court
- Judicial commitment and leadership.
- Collaboration among criminal justice services, courts, treatment agencies and community organizations.
- Education and training programs for judges, prosecutors, defenders, and other criminal justice practitioners in substance abuse, addictive behaviors, and treatment approaches.
- Education and training programs for treatment providers and public health officials in criminal justice concerns and procedures.
- A specifically defined target population that considers both drug involvement and public safety risk.
- A custom-designed treatment program that addresses the specific treatment needs of the court’s targeted population.
- Integrated information management that links the court with criminal justice and treatment agencies and provides adequate supervision for defenders/offenders.
- Funding sources for drug court start-up and maintenance.
- A detailed comprehensive implementation plan that includes scheduled milestones and orientation and training for everyone involved.
- An evaluation strategy that defines desired outcomes, identifies the types of information required to measure those outcomes, and defines a timetable for the reporting and analysis of those outcomes.
Drug Court Program Characteristics
- Defendants are referred to drug treatment shortly after arrest.
- Judges closely monitor the progress of defendants in the drug court program, encouraging effort and achievement to overcome addiction and promptly sanctioning noncompliance with program requirements.
- The drug court program operates as a team effort involving the judiciary, prosecutors, defense bar, treatment providers, case managers and community resources.
- Defendants relapses are accepted as an element of the treatment process and are not by themselves considered to be an indication of program failure or a cause for program termination.
Florida Dept of Corrections
Visit the Florida Dept. of Corrections website
Florida Dept of Juvenile Justice
Visit the Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice website.
Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Confidentiality Regulations (42 CFR Part 2)
Visit the SAMHSA Confidentiality Regulations website.
Federal law strongly protects the confidentiality of substance abuse counseling. NEVER release any confidential information about a client without a written and signed release.
Lesson 8 Discussion Question (at least 250)
If you were having a conversation with someone who said “I think they should just lock them all up and throw away the key”, what are some points you could offer to convince the person drug courts are a better idea? Please answer this question and respond to two other students’ posts.
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