The Cumberland County Treatment Court is a PA Supreme Court-certified program that provides a cost-effective alternative to incarceration through a long-term, judicially monitored treatment regime for non-violent substance-dependent offenders. Founded on 7 November 2006 under the direction of Judge Ebert and now run by Judge Masland, the program is Cumberland County's oldest diversionary court program and strives to return clean and sober individuals to the community after equipping them to maintain their sobriety and improve the quality of their lives. In those 12 years, the treatment court has entered 215 participants and graduated 108 of those persons, with ~30 involved currently in the program.
Treatment Court is a voluntary program for adult residents of Cumberland County who have been charged with non-violent criminal offenses. This allows participants to pursue treatment for their addiction(s) while productively addressing associated legal problems. Participants can enter treatment court with a history of alcohol dependence or while struggling with addictions to controlled substances. Once the participants are accepted, they must complete a four-phase program (minimum of 15 months) culminating with graduation. Participants are subject to weekly court appearances, frequent drug testing, intensive drug/alcohol treatment, and immediate sanctions and incentives. After graduation, a participant petitioned the court to have their charges dismissed. If the participant pays off the restitution due on their docket and all costs, their mission is expunged.
Due to the maturity of this program, we have verifiable proof that this evidence-based practice approach to rehabilitation works. Statistically, participants who complete treatment court are convicted of a new crime at only a mere 11% rate, roughly a fifth of what could be expected of a general population of convicted criminal defendants on state parole. While involved with treatment court, less than 2% of participants pick up a new charge within two years, which is an astounding number. By treating participants with an understanding of their circumstances and addressing the illness that is addiction directly, the program creates productive members of society as opposed to ex-cons without life skills or coping mechanisms to prevent relapse and re-offense.
Copyright © 2023 Cumberland County Bar Foundation - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Storytelling Marketing Communications