Charlotte County Felony Drug Court Program
The Charlotte County Drug Court Program is a court supervised, comprehensive treatment program for non violent defendants. This is a voluntary program, which includes regular court appearances before a designated Drug Court Judge, treatment, which includes drug testing, individual/group counseling, and regular attendance at 12-step meetings (Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous).
The Drug Court Program is a combined effort of the State Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office, the Court, the Department of Corrections, and health care drug abuse services providers. Program participants will be assisted with obtaining education and skill assessments and will be provided referrals for vocational training, education and/or job placement services. The program length, determined by each participant's progress will be no less than one year.
Participants on formal probation may be required to pay $50 per month cost of probation supervision. The judge may exempt cost of supervision fees and allow the participant to work off the fine and court costs by doing community service with a credit of $10 for each hour worked. Participants are required to make regular treatment fees to Charlotte Behavioral Health Care to the total of $1,500 over the course of 12 months. Additionally, participants who are represented by the Public Defender's Office must pay the $50 fee for the Application for Criminal Indigent Status and any Public Defender attorney fees.
Drug Court participants are required to appear in Drug Court on regular scheduled dates. At each appearance, the Judge will be given a progress report prepared by the treatment provider and/or the probation officer regarding a participant's drug test results, attendance and participation.
Treatment is provided through a team approach with the combined resources of the probation office and the assigned drug treatment staff. The treatment team will assess what level of treatment will best meet a participants needs and recommend outpatient or residential treatment to the Drug Court Judge. If admitted to a residential treatment program, the treatment plan will include the requirements of that program. If not admitted into a residential treatment program, a multi component, outpatient program has been developed.
An "initial" treatment plan will be developed by the participant and your treatment team following an over-all problems and needs assessment. The plan will act as a guide for the initial treatment phase and within it, goals will be set, methods for meeting those goals will be selected, and target dates for achieving those goals will be developed. The plan will be maintained by a treatment team and will be updated as the participant progresses through the program.
Drug testing is done throughout the entire treatment process. Participants will be tested a minimum of one time per week. The Drug Court Judge will have access to all drug test results including any failures to test, and may order a drug test at any time.
The Drug Court Treatment Program is a four phase, highly structured, treatment program lasting for a minimum of one year, depending upon the participants' individual progress. Each phase consists of specified treatment objectives, therapeutic and rehabilitative activities and specific requirements for advancement into the next phase.
Once a participant has successfully completed the criteria for each phase and advance to the next level the participant eventually becomes a candidate to graduate from the Drug Court Program. Advancement for each phase and graduation from the program shall be determined by the Drug Court Judge and Drug Court Team. Family members are invited to join in as the Judge congratulates the participant on successfully completing the Drug Court Program and achieving the goal to establish a drug free life.
The Honorable Paul Alessandroni presides over the Felony Drug Court Program. Court is typically held on Mondays at 3pm on the 3rd Floor of the Justice Center in courtroom 3A. Potential participants are encouraged to observe court sessions for a better understanding of the program and its intent.
For more information about this program and/or to make a referral, please contact Charlotte County Pretrial Services at (941) 637-2297. Referral form may be downloaded (see above).