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Drug Court Diversion Program
The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) funds community based organizations to provide an array of education, counseling and urine monitoring services to clients diverted from the criminal justice system by Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas drug court judges or commissioners.
Drug Court diversion programs funded by DSAMH offer psycho-educational and outpatient counseling services to offenders. Diversion program participants who are determined to need more intense levels of treatment are referred to other programs, in the same or another agency, that provide the appropriate level of care for criminal justice referred clients. All programs providing services to drug court diversion clients must be licensed by DSAMH and comply with all DSAMH operational standards.
Diversion programs for offenders from Superior Court are designed to last a minimum of six months but may be longer depending upon client engagement and need. Diversion programs for offenders from the Court of Common Pleas are designed to last a minimum of 14 weeks but may be longer depending upon client engagement and need.
The Diversion programs perform intake assessments, ongoing urinalysis, educational groups, counseling and case management services.
The Treatment Access Center (TASC) coordinates and monitors all drug court diversion programs that are funded by DSAMH. All offenders diverted by Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas will be assigned to a case manager. The case manager will be the liaison between the program and the drug court, TASC and other agencies/programs with which the client may be involved.
Superior Court's Veterans Treatment Court began in New Castle County on January 2, 2013. Jan R. Jurden, a former member of the armed services (she was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army after serving in the 32nd Army Air Defense Command in West Germany from 1980 - 1982) will preside over the New Castle County Veterans Court.
This innovative program was initiated by Judge William L. Witham Jr,. as a pilot project in Kent County in February 2011. Judge Witham, also a former member of the armed services, served as an officer for 33 years in the Reserves and Army National Guard and graduated from the United States Army War College in 1998. He also served as the Deputy State Area Commander, as well as the Brigade Commander of the Delaware Army Troop Command, when he retired in 2001.
The program is designed to assist justice-involved veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues to obtain necessary services and reduce recidivism. As a subdivision of the Mental Health Court, the mission of this court is to work with veterans who have been charged with felony or misdemeanor non-violent criminal offense(s) and divert eligible veteran-defendants with substance dependency and/or mental health issues from traditional court processing to a treatment-based problem-solving model court. Veterans are identified through specialized screening and assessments and voluntarily participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan developed by a team comprised of court staff, veteran health care professionals, veteran peer mentors and other health and mental health care professionals. Upon admission to the Veterans Treatment Court, the court staff, health care professionals and mentors assist the veteran with an array of stabilization and other services.
The role of the TASC in this program is to case manage those veterans who are in the program but are not eligible for treatment services through the Veterans Administration. This case management consists of assessment, referral, urine monitoring, and status update to the Veteran's Court. TASC's knowledge of community based treatment facilities and programs provides an endless list of resources for veterans who finds themselves suffering from substance abuse and mental health related issues. Just as everyone else in the Veteran's court, TASC's appointed case manager is also a retired veteran of 24 years of service (USAF) who takes the task of helping fellow veterans as a distinct honor and pleasure.
Re-Entry Court Re-Entry Court is active in Superior Court, overseen by Hon. Charles H. Toliver IV. This project represents a unique partnership with Probation/Parole, Sojourner's Place, Delaware Center for Justice, DOL, DHSS, Vital Statistics, Social Security, etc. to best prepare two-time violent convicted felons for re-entry into society. TASC's part of this partnership is embodied in enhanced supervision, assessments, referrals to appropriate community-based services, along with frequent Court appearances to update the Court on their compliance, as well as their progress. We have experienced these clients having a much higher rate of employment and education and training than the typical offender population, despite their often substantial criminal history.
Mental Health Court
Mental Health Court provides a unique opportunity to better manage both criminal justice and mental health issues. Mental Health Court provides intensive services and support for individuals to achieve self sufficiency and recovery. Mental Health Court TASC Staff has Psychiatric Social Workers to evaluate a client's needs and refer to the appropriate treatment. TASC is responsible for all aspects of the client's needs. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for individuals with an AXIS l diagnosis.
In 2012 The Treatment Access Center (TASC) was asked to join as a partner to the Court of Common Pleas TIP/WISH Program. TIP (Trauma Informed Probation) was an already active CCP Specialty Court working with women who had suffered trauma in their lives. In the year of 2011 Brandywine Counseling had secured a grant to work directly with women who had been arrested for charges of Prostitution or Loitering. The program is known as WISH (Women In Search of Health) . The Delaware Court of Common Pleas joined their already running program TIP with WISH which is being run by a reach out center called Beautiful Gate.
Once the two entities had joined in force they had established that one Probation Officer and one Public Defender would be assigned to the women (TIP) and a Care Advocate (WISH) would help the women to find housing, ID cards, birth certificates as well as assisting them with daily errands. There was one component missing in this formed alliance of TIP/WISH, the missing piece was how to assist the women with their addiction and mental health issues. The Court of Common Pleas, Brandywine Counseling as well as Beautiful Gate contacted TASC requesting that TASC join the TIP/WISH team. TASC was known for its many years of drug and alcohol as well as mental health experience and success. TASC is not a part of the original grant written by Brandywine Counseling however TASC was happy to work as a liaison with all parties to assist the clients with their issues. To make the TIP/WISH team more cohesive the clients meet weekly at Probation and Parole to see their Probation Officer, WISH Care Advocate as well as TASC Case Manager. The alliance made by these parties has become jokingly expressed in Court as "one stop shopping". The availability of all the services being centralized affords the women a very client centered approach. TASC and TIP/WISH is just the beginning of addressing issues that have been long ignored in and on the streets of Delaware.
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