What is Court-Ordered Rehabilitation

What is Court-Ordered Rehabilitation

What is a drug court?

In very fundamental ways, court-ordered rehabilitation changes the picture regarding rehabilitation programming, outcomes and success rates and concerns among recovering addicts. Many highly regarded rehabilitation programs accept court-ordered patients and either incorporate them into the mix of non-court-ordered patients or establish their own groups and housing to accommodate the different populations. Certainly, the topic should be raised, and questions asked about how these distinctions are handled prior to entering a rehabilitation facility.

Some clinics choose to organize special groups for court-ordered patients, simply so they can share common concerns among others struggling with similar problems. Otherwise, there are pros and cons regarding mixing population groups, who can, after all, learn from one another. 12-Step 12 meetings, which are extremely common in rehabilitation clinics, can also be done with open enrollment or designated for certain groups. This allows special concerns to be given extra attention in certain groups, although traditionally the only criteria for entrance to an open 12-Step meeting are the desire to stop an addiction.

Relapse prevention relies entirely on willpower, which can fail to help an addict maintain sobriety

What is court-ordered rehabilitation?

Court-ordered rehabilitation is an alternative form of sentencing. In many communities around the country, there are established “drug courts,” where persons with addiction issues are brought before a judge. There are usually strict guidelines for anyone allowed to go to drug court, including restricting sentencing there to non-violent crimes.

With some legal offenses, judges are given the leeway to suspend jail time or postpone imposing a fine while giving the offender a chance to attend rehabilitation treatment instead. The jail time or fine may then be reinstated of the offender does not follow up on the mandate to attend rehabilitation and maintain sobriety for as long as the court has jurisdiction over the offender.

Other stipulations are often attached to the suspended sentence. These are often left to the judge’s discretion, which allows the drug to try to customize a program for someone who would otherwise be fined or jailed. Extra stipulations could be – similar to terms of probation – prohibiting the offender from entering a bar, tavern or liquor store, barring that person from spending time with anyone using illegal drugs or alcohol or possessing street drugs or alcohol.

Monitoring, Drug Testing

Courts can also order specific drug or alcohol screening tests to ensure the offender complies with the court’s mandates. Needless to say, a violation of a court mandate allows the judge to either send the offender to jail or impose a house arrest or a fine.

The Benefits of Drug Courts

There are many benefits of so-called drug courts. They allow the judge to address the underlying cause of crime – an ongoing addiction – while avoiding sending someone to jail where other inmates could also be suffering from untreated addiction issues.


A rehabilitation clinic offers a chance of recovery. It also provides a safe environment for detoxification and sobriety. There are useful programs and groups to attend. Medical issues can be addressed in some programs. Offenders can find support from other recovering addicts.

Relapse Prevention

Often when an addict is sent to jail, there are no rehabilitation programs to attend – although 12-Step meetings are common in some jails. This means, however, that addiction issues are left to fester. Relapse prevention relies entirely on willpower, which can fail to help an addict maintain sobriety.

Rehabilitation, on the other hand, can teach sobriety maintenance, how to avoid triggers, how to respond to urges. It teaches addicts what behavior changes may be necessary. It helps to understand emotional tie-ins to addictive behaviors. And it helps an addict make connections with other addicts who are struggling to change their lives.

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