Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $888,388)
The Fort Bend County Community Courts Initiative submitted by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office requests $900,000 in Category 2 under the BJA Community Courts solicitation to enhance the current court program and expand access to evidence-based supervision and treatment services for defendants of Fort Bend County’s three substance abuse and treatment dockets including the Misdemeanor Treatment Court, the Felony Drug Court, and the Expedited Narcotics Docket (END) Program. The program targets adult defendants in Fort Bend County, Texas, who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs and are at substantial risk to re-offend or fail to complete less intensive dispositions, such as standard probation. All defendants are nonviolent offenders charged with a misdemeanor or felony where drugs are the underlying factor of the charges. Project activities include establishing the Fort Bend Community Courts Advisory Group, addressing gaps in the continuum of care for defendants in the probably solving dockets who have substance use and co-occurring disorders, and implementing a Continuous Quality Improvement program through data collection and analysis to address disparities and implement program improvements. The Fort Bend County Community Court Program will serve an estimated 120 participants using the Texas Risk Assessment System (TRAS), a validated and standardized risk assessment tool utilized by the Fort Bend County Community Correction and Supervision Department (Adult Probation), who will be conducting these assessments and making recommendations for participants. While a variety of information is gathered, including criminal history, family and social supports, and mental health, the licensed probation officer only reports a summary of the assessment focusing on treatment recommendations and recommended level of care.