The Veterans Court is an interagency collaborative effort that serves veterans in the criminal justice system and address probationer’s substance abuse, mental health, and life issues, by improving access to Veterans Administration Services (VA) for benefits and services, and promoting a reduction in recidivism. The Court uses an array of inducements and sanctions to help veterans toward sustainable positive behavior and reintegration into the community.
Established in January 2011, Veterans Court services began as a collaborative effort among traditional stakeholders and Veteran Affairs representatives. The stakeholders recognized the need to collectively address substance abuse, alcoholism, medical, and behavioral health issues endured by veterans, suffering from military service-related trauma. Eligible veterans receive treatment services through affirming veteran benefits through the VA and obtaining additional provider behavioral and medical health services and peer mentoring.
The Drug Court is a post-adjudication, non-adversarial program that uses a team approach to break the cycle of substance abuse and addiction. Through intensive treatment, drug testing and frequent court intervention, probationers are given the tools to lead a clean, sober, and crime-free lifestyle. Both the Criminal Department and the Family Department operate a Drug Court.
Established in April 1992, Drug Court offers a cognitive based, outpatient counseling and drug monitoring program for offenders. Participants enter into a behavioral contract with the Court that outlines the offender's responsibilities and goals within a specified timeframe. The Court regularly monitors participant compliance; incentives and sanctions are used to shape lasting behavior changes. Upon completion, participants may advance out of the program early, and could have undesignated charges reduced to misdemeanors.
Recently the Drug Court partnered with the Law Library Resource Center (LLRC) and AmeriCorps members to provide essay, resume building, mindfulness, and positive relationship classes as a program sanction. These classes promote skill building and knowledge while holding the participants accountable for their behavior.
The Regional Veterans Court is a collaborative program between the Municipal Courts of Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Paradise Valley, the Scottsdale City Court, and the Cave Creek Consolidated Court.
The Court is the product of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, members of the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs Justice Outreach program, human service agencies and Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, working together to assist veterans and their families moving from military service to civilian life.
The goal is to resolve outstanding minor misdemeanors, victimless offenses, and warrants for homeless individuals who are committed to ending their homelessness.
The Domestic Violence Supervision Program is an Accountability Court with the goal of ending physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and replacing it with new thinking, new behaviors, and new healthy relationships. The program is comprised of three principal components: enhanced supervision, victim outreach, and Offender Intervention programming.
Family Treatment Court is a voluntary program that follows a drug court model. It provides support and accountability to parents during substance use disorder treatment to increase success in sobriety. The mission of the Court is to assist parents involved in the child welfare system toward achieving and maintaining sobriety, promote family reunification, and improve well-being for children and families.
Established in December 2012, the Family Treatment Court is for parents involved in an open dependency with Juvenile Court, who have a history of substance use disorder, and who are looking for additional support to help them succeed with sobriety. The program is structured using phases in the court process with a system of incentives and sanctions to motivate and hold clients accountable to what they agree to do in program. Parents may complete the program after a minimum of 120 days and a recovery plan is in place.
Parents who successfully complete the program have much higher rates of reunification. Because it is voluntary, participants show extra commitment to their sobriety and their goal of reunifying with their children. Court-supervised drug treatment improves success in gaining and maintaining sobriety.
Driving Under the Influence Court (DUI Court) targets repeat and high-risk offenders. The program's primary goal is to protect public safety by changing participants' decisions about drinking and driving behaviors, and about alcohol use in general. DUI Court uses the drug court model to address the root cause of impaired driving, alcohol and other drug problems.
A separate Spanish DUI Court was established in December, 2002 to serve participants only speak Spanish.
Established in 2003, the Native American DUI Court provides for probationers to attend court where there is genuine understanding for the culturally specific treatment interventions that are designed for this population, for example participating in sweat lodges and talking circles.
By distinguishing the different populations in need, DUI Court allows participants to better understand the court proceedings and services provided. It creates the opportunity for direct positive reinforcement, to enhance successful participation and improve program outcomes.
The Juvenile Transferred Offender Program (JTOP) provides high-risk youthful offenders, under the age of 21, with enhanced supervision. The probation officer possesses expertise in coordinating specialized services to meet participant assessed risks and needs. This program uses incentives and swift and immediate consequences, to target participant drug and alcohol use.
Established in July 2000, JTOP became an immediate consequence court; targeting drug and alcohol use of youthful offenders sentenced to adult court and convicted of a felony crime. Offenders must be screened eligible to participate in the program and attend the orientation. Probationers enter into a behavioral contract that includes program phase requirements while receiving probation supervision, treatment, and/or intervention services.
Probationers receive increased supervision and monitoring from the Court Team. JTOP is a complete sobriety program with a focus on life skills, fulfilling restitution requirements, and possessing responsible citizenship, as demonstrated through behaviors during the program.
The Seriously Mentally Ill – Probation Violation Court program improves the offender population by providing opportunities for success while on probation. Offenders diagnosed with severe mental illness, severe developmental disability, and some cases involving traumatic brain injury, dementia, may be screened and accepted into the program. The court and probation department monitor offenders through close supervision, timely case management, education and training, advocacy, and effective collaboration with community agencies.
Family Child Support Accountability Court addresses parents who are chronically non-compliant with support obligations but willing to pay. This model court is designed to help obligors overcome the barriers to non-compliance. Such barriers may be underemployment, unemployment or maintaining employment. The Court assists parents by providing identified community resources to help. The focus is to break down the barriers and for parents to gain the ability to pay the full monthly child support payment consistently and on time.
Lasting up to 12 months, the program involves intensive seeking and maintaining of employment and working with community providers to remove any barriers. Parents involved may be required to work with an employment resource or agency to meet and discuss issues preventing stable employment.
Family Child Support Enforcement Court addresses parents who are chronically non-compliant with a current child or spousal support order, medical insurance coverage and uninsured medical expenses. Enforcement Court enforces orders for support through the contempt proceedings geared toward obligors who can pay but are unwilling to pay.