Richmond VA > Adult Drug Court

Last Updated: 2009-11-07

Mission "Your Past Is Not Your Potential"

The Richmond Adult Drug Treatment Court is designed to reduce recidivism and drug-related crime by providing a comprehensive program of substance abuse treatment services, probation supervision, intensive court supervision and judicial monitoring for non-violent, addicted defendants.

Program Description

The Richmond Adult Drug Court Program is a pre-adjudication and post-adjudication alternative to incarceration and probation for selected non-violent felony offenders with substance abuse problems. The cases of these offenders initially appear on any circuit court judge's docket for sentencing or probation revocation hearings. Offenders accepted in the program come under the judicial supervision of Circuit Court Judges Margaret P. Spencer, Clarence N. Jenkins and Richard D. Taylor, Jr.

Substance abuse treatment includes drug testing, individual and group counseling, regular attendance at twelve-step meetings [Narcotics Anonymous(NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)], and participation in other recovery groups. On-site substance abuse clinicians, working with on-site probation officers and other Drug Court team members, provide individual and group counseling. The probation officers monitor compliance with court orders, and provide supervision and ancillary services.

Program participants must be employed for a minumum of 35 hours a week or full-time students. They must perform 45 hours of community service while assigned to the program. They must appear regularly before the Circuit Court Judge for judicial monitoring of program compliance.

The program utilizes the team approach to address recovery needs of participants, and the team includes staff employed by Richmond's Commonwealth's Attorney and Public Defender. The program's duration is a minimum of eighteen months. However, individual progress determines the time each participant remains in the program.

The Richmond Adult Drug Court is an intensive probation and therapeutic program for non-violent felons who are addicted to drugs. It involves the collaborative efforts of the Commonwealth's Attorney, Public Defender, defendant, Circuit Court Judges, Richmond Sheriff Office, District One Probation Office and Drug Court staff.

Drug Court is an alternative to incarceration and regularly supervised probation by the Department of Corrections (DOC). Admission to the program is voluntary, and defendants request a Drug Court evaluation at a sentencing or probation revocation hearing.

If eligible, defendants are placed in the program by the Circuit Court judge. Many defendants must serve active jail sentences, complete the DOC Detention or Diversion programs, or complete inpatient treatment prior to participation in Drug Court. The Drug Court's goal is to reduce drug-related crimes and drug use by providing a full range of substance abuse treatment services and court supervision.

Drug Court utilizes innovative probation methodology in correlation with intensive outpatient treatment. To ensure strict adherence to program rules, the Drug Court Judges are the central figures in a team effort that focuses on sobriety and accountability. Substance abuse clinicians and probation officers focus on developing a therapeutic relationship with participants. Treatment plan objectives are based on each participant's performance and abilities.

Drug Court creates an environment with clear and specific rules. Sanctions are imposed for non-compliance, and incentives are awarded for compliance. The rules are definite, easy to understand, and most importantly, compliance is within the participant's control.

Goals to be achieved:

  • Lead a drug-free lifestyle.
  • Maintain a law-abiding lifestyle.
  • Enhance employment skills through vocational training and/or job placement services.
  • Increase involvement in the recovery community (NA, AA and other recovery groups).
  • Identify the warning signs of relapse and engage in relapse prevention planning.
  • Identify specific treatment needs and develop a treatment plan designed to work toward recovery.


Contact Information:

Adult Drug Court
City of Richmond
501 N. Ninth St., 2nd Fl.
Public Safety Building
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-3655
Fax: (804)646-3738
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