North Carolina Court Records
What are North Carolina Recovery Courts?
Recovery courts are North Carolina’s specialty courts that offer specialized programs for chemically dependent offenders, veterans, and persons with mental health issues. Recovery courts help offenders through court-ordered treatment programs through supervision, counseling, sanctions, and drug testing. Recovery courts hear eligible offender cases in the juvenile court, including neglect, abuse, and dependency cases.
There are 59 recovery courts spread across 32 counties in North Carolina. The types of recovery courts include:
- Adult Drug Treatment Court
- Youth Drug Treatment Court
- Family Drug Treatment Court
- Mental Health Court
- DWI Court
- Veterans Treatment Court
The Adult Drug Treatment Court (DTC) assists drug-dependent adult offenders in receiving treatment and rejoining society as functional and productive members. With a team of community and court professionals, the DTC caters to non-violent, repeat offenders. The DTC program objectives are as follows:
- To reduce drug-related court cases.
- To promote effective use of resources amongst criminal justice personnel.
- To reduce drug dependency and alcoholism amongst offenders.
- To reduce the chances of repeated offenses.
- To increase the offender’s accountability.
To be eligible for an Adult DTC program, parties must be:
- Diagnosed as chemically dependent or borderline chemically dependent under the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening III
- If diagnosed as marginally chemically dependent, present documentation to support the diagnosis
- Assessed for legal eligibility under the North Carolina Structured Sentencing Grid
- Be eligible for intermediate punishment.
- Meet all other program requirements
The state established the Youth Drug Treatment Court (YTC) to assist substance-dependent youth offenders. The YTC helps non-violent juvenile and status offenders who use alcohol or other substances negatively to re-integrate into family, school, and society as responsible and functional members. YTC’s programs involve offenders and offenders’ families. The YTC programs work towards the goal of rehabilitation, accountability, and long-term sobriety. The programs require juvenile offenders to attend court hearings, submit to frequent drug testing, and participate in the treatment courses that the court makes available.
Eligibility criteria for YTC programs are as follows:
- The juvenile offender must be under the North Carolina District Court’s jurisdiction.
- The offender must have a drug abuse problem that disrupts behavior and causes other issues at home, school, and the community.
- The juvenile offender must meet additional requirements put in place by the YTC program.
The YTC aims to identify eligible participants early and place participants in the appropriate treatment programs. The YTC provides immediate treatment for substance-dependent youthful offenders and the families of the offenders. The court also provides access to rehabilitation services. The YTC aims to:
- Provide the support required to discourage repeated offenses
- Provide necessary assistance and support to enable the development of suitable family structures and environments
- Provide educational support and encourage the development of positive community relationships
- Assist with the development of the skills required to ensure that the youth live as crime-free and productive members of society
- Provide opportunities for substance-dependent youth to become sober
Family Drug Treatment Court, otherwise known as the Family Drug or Dependency Court (FDTC), assists parents or guardians charged with neglect or abuse and in danger of losing child custody. To be eligible for FDTC programs, drug-dependent parents must agree to participate in the program.
Additionally, participates are assessed for trauma, domestic violence, and mental health issues. The court assigns each participant a manager who ensures that the participants receive treatment, participate in educational programs, and other services that the court provides. The court and the Department of Social Services (DSS) may return children to parents who complete FDTC programs, although this is not guaranteed. Parents who do not complete court-mandated programs may face jail time and other sanctions.
The FDTC aims to:
- Assist parents in the development of productive skills
- Help the participating parent or guardian become financially, personally, and emotionally independent.
- Ensure accountability for participating individuals
- Assist participants in the development of parenting skills
In cooperation with the court, mental health service providers, and the state mental health system, the Mental Health Court offers treatment to adult offenders who require mental health treatment and services. The court aims to reduce the chances of repeated offenses and assist offenders by improving functional abilities. To be eligible for Mental Health Court programs, individuals must be:
- Screened by the District Attorney
- Have a mental health diagnosis or
- Mental treatment history
Mental Health Courts give priority to offenders with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness.
DWI Treatment Courts address substance abuse and alcoholism in offenders charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI). The Court uses DWI courts and drug treatment models’ guiding principles to modify the substance or alcohol-dependent drivers’ behavior.
The Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) collaborates with law enforcement, court officials, and community partners to assist veterans in the justice system because of trauma, mental health disorders, and substance abuse. VTC program participants are monitored regularly and are required to take frequent tests.
Recovery courts are spread across 32 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The recovery courts are at the following locations:4