Criminal Justice Services
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The Mecklenburg County Supervision, Treatment, Education, and Prevention (S.T.E.P.) Program was established by statute in 1995 to enhance and monitor the delivery of treatment services to chemically dependent adult offenders while holding those offenders rigorously accountable for complying with their court-ordered treatment plans.
The overall goal of the S.T.E.P. Program is to significantly break the cycle of addiction that gives rise to repeated law-breaking episodes. By enhancing the likelihood that the drug-driven offender will remain drug and crime free and socially responsible, the S.T.E.P. Program seeks to reduce justice system, health system, and other societal costs associated with continuing drug use and criminal involvement.
The goals of the S.T.E.P. Program include the following:
To reduce alcoholism and other drug dependencies among adult and juvenile offenders and defendants and among respondents in juvenile petitions for abuse, neglect, or both;
To reduce criminal and delinquent recidivism and the incidence of child abuse and neglect;
To reduce the alcohol-related and other drug-related court workload;
To increase the personal, familial, and societal accountability of adult and juvenile offenders and defendants and respondents in juvenile petitions for abuse, neglect, or both; and
To promote effective interaction and use of resources among criminal and juvenile justice personnel, child protective services personnel, and community agencies.
Program participants are referred by their attorney or the sentencing judge and screened prior to admission to determine their appropriateness for program participation. Upon acceptance, participants are assigned a case coordinator who works with them for the duration of their program participation, which is a minimum of one year.
Throughout their involvement, program participants are required to take part in court supervision, drug screening or testing, and drug or alcohol treatment programs. An assigned case coordinator meets regularly with them to promote behavior changes and to assist in needed services (i.e., medical, social, employment, and housing).
The Mecklenburg County S.T.E.P. Program operates six court programs:
District Court Recovery Court
DWI Recovery Court
Superior Court Recovery Court
Youth Recovery Court