Eighth Judicial District Court Specialty Court Programs
The Eighth Judicial District Court operates nine Specialty Court programs, targeting non-violent offenders with substance abuse or mental health issues. The EJDC Adult Drug Court, established in 1992, was one of the first Drug Courts in the nation. Since that time, Specialty Courts have expanded to include the Felony DUI Court, Mental Health Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, Family Dependency Court, Dependency Mother’s Drug Court, Child Support Treatment Court and OPEN Court.
Treatment Court Model
Specialty Courts are based on a treatment court model, providing treatment to offenders, reducing drug-related crimes, and providing programming for participants to gain life skills and educational advancement. All Specialty Court programs require participants to engage in individual and group substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling (based on individual needs), random drug/alcohol testing, probation supervision, collaborative case management and regular court status checks.
Specialty Court programs result in significant cost savings to the State of Nevada and Clark County by reducing public costs associated with monitoring, detaining and prosecuting criminal activity by state and county law enforcement and prosecution agencies. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) reports that for every $1.00 invested in Specialty Courts, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone. When considering other costs associated with participants’ involvement in the criminal justice system, it is estimated that Specialty Courts save taxpayers $27.00 for every $1.00 invested by reducing victimization and healthcare service utilization.
NADCP findings indicate that Specialty Courts reduce crime 45% more than other sentencing options. Participants in Specialty Court programs are six times more likely to complete substance abuse treatment than those not involved in a judicial program. Without judicial oversight, 70% of substance-abusing offenders drop out of treatment.
While each Specialty Court program establishes independent criteria for admission, the primary eligibility factors for an individual to participant in the Specialty Courts are (1) an identified alcohol substance abuse disorder or SMI (serious mental illness) and (2) no history of violent offenses or drug trafficking.
- Adult Drug Court: The ADC program is a minimum one-year court supervised comprehensive inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment program.
- Felony DUI: The FDUI program is a minimum three-year program that offers intensive treatment and community supervision to participants who have at least three DUI charges within seven years.
- Mental Health Court: The Mental Health Court is intended for chronic thought disordered individuals who struggle to stay out of the criminal justice system due to a lack of adequate supports in the community. In order to be eligible for the Mental Health Court, participants must have a Serious Mental Illness (SMI), namely Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The MHC is now accepting applications from the Municipal and Justice Courts. Click here for the Application and Handbook.
- Juvenile Drug Court: The Juvenile Drug Court program offers four programming tiers: Pre-Adjudication Diversion Program, a 90-day program individualized to the needs of each youth (including school/educational services, substance abuse and mental health counseling, mentoring and family support groups and after school programs),Educational Substance Abuse, which is a 90-day intensive substance abuse ASAM Level 1 program, Traditional Drug Court, a minimum 9 month substance abuse program which includes ASAM Level 1 outpatient, relapse and intensive outpatient treatment, and Transitional Program, a 90-day transitional program for youth transitioning into the community from outpatient treatment.
- Veterans Court: Veterans Court offers a court supervised outpatient treatment for veterans convicted of a felony. The program works collaboratively with the Veterans Administration to serve veterans with significant addiction and mental health issues that developed during or from their military service.
- Family Treatment Court: The Family Treatment Court is court supervised comprehensive outpatient substance abuse treatment for alcohol and drug dependent parents involved in the child welfare system.
- Dependency Mother’s Drug Court: DMDC is a court supervised comprehensive residential substance abuse treatment for alcohol and drug dependent mothers and their children involved in the child welfare system.
- Child Support Treatment Court: The Child Support Treatment Court is a minimum 12-month court supervised comprehensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program for alcohol and drug dependent parents involved with the Clark County District Attorney’s Family/Child Support Division.
- OPEN Program: The OPEN Court offers intensive behavioral modification programming for males, age 18 to 24 years of age, who have been incarcerated, with the goal of reintegrating them into their communities and connecting them with the community based resources, while working to address their court requirements.
To learn more about each Specialty Court program, contact the Specialty Court Administrator, DeNeese Parker, MSW, at 702-671-4505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply for a Specialty Court program, please complete the Specialty Court Application available at: http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/departments/specialty-courts/ and submit to SpecialtyCourts@clarkcountycourts.us
Other Specialty Courts
The business court hears cases such as lawsuits involving copyright infringement, contracts, business ownership disputes, or cases filed by stockholders against public companies. The goal of the court is to speed up the court process and help businesses obtain immediate action in the courts. Four judges serve the Business Court.