Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $349,007)
The Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program is designed to assist states, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments in developing and establishing drug courts for substance-abusing adult and juvenile offenders. Drug court programs funded by the Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program are required by law to target nonviolent offenders. The Program supports the following activities: adult drug court implementation, single jurisdiction drug court enhancement, statewide drug court enhancement, and planning efforts.
The San Francisco Superior Court will use the single jurisdiction drug court implementation grant to develop a new problem-solving court called the Community Justice Center (CJC). The target population for the CJC is individuals residing in the Tenderloin and surrounding areas who are involved in the criminal justice system. This area was chosen due to its high risk/high need population, including disproportionate levels of homelessness, HIV-AIDS and substance abuse. The majority of clients will likely be homeless or marginally housed. Legal eligibility includes felony possession of narcotics, sales or possession for sale of narcotics, and theft offenses connected to the client's addiction.
Current court-based substance abuse programs have not targeted their service delivery and criminal justice response to the complex needs of this population, with over half of all misdemeanor cases being discharged or dismissed without a single court hearing. The CJC will include all misdemeanors and non-violent felony cases that involve substance abuse. The CJC will also focus on the increasing number of methamphetamine users who serve their addiction through prostitution. Also, this newly designated court facility will be located in the geographic region where the crime occurs, with social services co-located in the court building. This will increase the immediacy and accountability of the court and include the proactive involvement of a bi-monthly Citizen Advisory Board.
The CJC will promote access to services that meet effective practice standards for individuals per a justice mandate. Funds will pay for CJC team members, who are responsible for the case management, staffing, and monitoring of this program. One of the primary uses of this grant will be to contribute to the funding of a highly trained probation officer dedicated to the CJC, who will supervise adult offenders on probation. Using a non-adversarial approach and ongoing judicial monitoring, CJC team members will discuss participants' program compliance, make clinical and legal decisions, and address policy issues. The program supports participants in a structured program of services characterized by three phases: 1) Pre-Treatment, 2) Treatment Engagement and Case Management, and 3) Discharge Planning and Graduation. When appropriate, CJC defendants will be referred to the Superior Court's other problem-solving court programs.
Through this intensive rehabilitation and supervision program targeted toward non-violent drug-related misdemeanor and felony defendants in the Tenderloin area, the CJC hopes to reduce the substance abuse and recidivism of its offenders.