Bar News - September 20, 2017
Court News: Nashua Drug Court Treatment Provider Honored
The Greater Nashua Mental Health Center, the treatment provider for the NH Superior Court’s drug court program in Nashua, was recently cited for excellence in evidence-based addiction treatment.
The Nashua organization received a Certificate of Excellence from the Matrix Institute on Addictions, one of the country’s leading nonprofits dedicated to treatment programs for justice-involved adults who also suffer from substance abuse, according to the NH Judicial Branch.
“We are lucky to have a treatment partner willing to utilize the most effective tools to accomplish our goals of ending the cycle of substance-related crime, promoting recovery, and enhancing community safety,” said Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn, who presides over the drug court program in Nashua.
Currently, drug courts operate in six out of New Hampshire’s 11 county courts, including Belknap, Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough (Southern Division), Rockingham and Strafford. Some 170 men and women participate each year in the program, which has shown to have a recidivism rate of 22 percent, compared to 78 percent for those individuals who are not enrolled in drug court.
Drug courts connect felony, misdemeanor and parole-level, substance-dependent offenders to an integrated system of intensive alcohol and drug treatment in the community. This intensive treatment is combined with regular court appearances, case management, strict court supervision, progressive incentives and sanctions, and community supervision though the NH Department of Corrections.
By linking participants to treatment services, drug courts aim to address offender’s underlying addiction, which often is what led to their criminal behavior, thereby reducing recidivism and harm to victims, while enhancing public safety. Drug court is designed to be a 12- to 24-month alternative sentencing program, divided into three to five court phases and four to five treatment levels, averaging 18 months, followed by an additional 12 months of probation/parole and aftercare.