Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Clerk of Courts

Drug Treatment and Diversion Court Programs

The goal of the Dane County Circuit Court Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction (AODA) Programs are:

  • To create effective interventions to reduce recidivism by addicted offenders.
  • To assign offenders to appropriate programs based on treatment needs and risk of recidivism.
  • To reduce racial disparity in the criminal justice system in Dane County.

There are three programs. Based on the results of screening and assessment, offenders may be assigned to:

  • High - Drug Court Treatment Program (DCTP)
  • Medium - Drug Court Diversion Program (DCDP)
  • Low - Deferred Prosecution Unit. (DPU)

To be eligible to participate, defendants must:

  • Be charged with a felony drug-driven offense.
  • Be a resident of Dane County (DPU will consider residency on a case-by-case basis).
  • Be currently charged with a non-violent offense, with no weapons used.
  • Have AODA treatment needs with a willingness to be treated, including participation in required screening and assessment sessions.

The process is as follows:

  1. Referral by the prosecution, court, defendant or his/her attorney, or a probation agent where applicable, at the time of Initial Appearance.
  2. With the consent of the defense to proceed, a Monday status conference date is set.
  3. Initial Screening by Journey Mental Health at the courthouse during the Monday status conference.
  4. Receive a score in a low, medium or high risk and needs category.
  5. Be referred to DPU if score is low and the DA agrees to admission, or given an appointment with Journey for a full AODA and risk/needs assessment if score is medium or high.
  6. Assessment done at Journey Mental Health.
  7. Depending on the score, Journey assigns a date for a second Monday status conference with the diversion group commissioner or a Thursday status conference with the treatment court judge.
  8. Enter a plea at this status conference, as agreed to with the prosecutor, sign a contract to participate in the program.
  9. Attend court review sessions, meet with case manager, submit to random drug testing and comply with other conditions of contract, receive sanctions or rewards.
  10. Successfully graduate with agreed to disposition imposed, or fail and be terminated from program and be returned to original trial judge for sentencing.

In general, successful completion of DPU will result in the dismissal of charges. In DCDP participants will enter a knowing and voluntary plea to charge(s) agreed to by the parties. A judgment of conviction will often not be entered. The defendant will sign the DCDP contract. The parties will specify in the contract the agreed disposition for both success and failure. Failure to comply with the contract must result in an agreed term of incarceration. Success will often result in the avoidance of felony convictions, or any conviction. Successful completion of DCTP will result the avoidance of a prison sentence. Individual case situations will vary. If the prosecutor and defense attorney are not in agreement with admission, the matter will be referred as part of an argued sentencing hearing before the DCTP or assigned trial judge.

Additional Resources:

Drug Court Request Documents

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