Effective January 1st, 2022, New Jersey continues to shift the focus to rehabilitation in our Criminal Justice System particularly when addiction is at the root of the contact with the Courts. Drug Court is now called Recovery Court in order to emphasize the active process of recovery and will continue its laudable work.
Recovery Court is an intensive period of supervised probation when a criminal defendant presents with a substance abuse history. Certain violent crimes will disqualify a defendant, but many others who come into contact with law enforcement due to drug use and abuse will be eligible or may be required to enter this program. Recovery Court supervision has 3 phases that will take no less than 2 years to complete and can extend for 5 years. Relapse is an acknowledged part of recovery and the sanctions imposed when a participant relapses will vary but will not automatically trigger incarceration. There is access to treatment and support from other participants in this program and while there are never enough resources, it is a solid opportunity for those who want to change their life to get access to direct service providers.
I have witnessed the heartbreak that substance abuse and addiction causes my clients and their families but I have also witnessed and cheered for the success of those who commit to the work of recovery. My client is a person, not an addict, and being reminded to change our language and focus on the person was one of the best tips I recently got at a local conference hosted by One Voice of Hunterdon County.
Please contact us if we can help you or a family member navigate the court system when substance use and abuse have contributed to the crisis. We can be reached to answer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 908-237-3098.
For more information on the name change, please read: https://www.njcourts.gov/pressrel/2021/pr122921a.pdf