Rehabilitative Programs 2017-05-01T18:54:38+00:00

Drug Intervention Program

The Drug Intervention Program is an example of one of the rehabilitative programs. These programs incorporate strategies for dealing with defendants with substance abuse problems into the ongoing operations of the court. It handles a wide variety of cases in which substance abuse is a prevailing issue. Also, it includes treatment, supervision and judicial monitoring. Currently, there are programs in Bridgeport, New Haven and Danielson. One primary goal of the Drug Intervention Program is to decrease criminal behavior. Also, another goal is to reduce substance abuse for those who participate in the intervention.

The Drug Intervention Program incorporates several levels of treatment and supervision of offenders. Regular court appearances and drug testing are required. For a period of twelve to fifteen months, offenders are required to report to the court. They report for compliance monitoring and receive orders, sanctions and incentives. Treatment and services are in place for the court to recommend. These services include:

  • Detoxification.
  • In-patient treatment.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment.
  • Vocational training.
  • Educational training.

Daily supervision of each offender is available through alternative incarceration centers. The court, courthouse staff, and treatment and social service staff work collaboratively. They do this to monitor the progress of offenders while they remain in the Drug Intervention Program. Successful completion of this program can result in the granting of a disposition that is favorable to the defendant. This includes a nolle or dismissal of charges, or lowering a previously offered sentence.

Nonviolent, Drug Dependent Defendants

Defendants who are nonviolent and drug dependent, as defined by Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-240, may be eligible for this program. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-240(18) defines “drug dependence” as “ a psychoactive substance dependence on drugs” as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” of the American Psychiatric Association.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-240(19) defines “drug dependent person” as “a person who has a psychoactive substance dependence on drugs as that condition is defined in the most recent edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” of the American Psychiatric Association.”

SECTION CITED FROM:  A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (pp. 8-9).  JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/0.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-39c Community Service Labor Program

A

There is established a community service labor program for persons charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279. Also, this applies to those who have not previously been convicted of a violation of section 21a-267, 21a-277, 21a-278 or 21a-279.

Upon application by any such person for participation in such program the court may grant such application and:

(1) if such person has not previously used the community service labor program, the court may do certain things. They can suspend prosecution and place such person in such program. Or, upon a plea of guilty without trial where a term of imprisonment is part of a stated plea agreement, they can suspend any sentence of imprisonment. Also, they can make participation in such program a condition of probation or conditional discharge. This happens in accordance with section 53a-30; or

(2) if such person has previously been placed in such program, the court may, upon a plea of guilty without trial where a term of imprisonment is part of a stated plea agreement, suspend any sentence of imprisonment and make participation in such program a condition of probation or conditional discharge in accordance with said section 53a-30. No person may be placed in such program who has twice previously been placed in such program.

B

Any person who enters such program shall pay to the court a participation fee of two hundred five dollars, except that no person may be excluded from such program for inability to pay such fee, provided (1) such person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, (2) such indigency is confirmed by the Court Support Services Division, and (3) the court enters a finding thereof. All program fees collected shall be deposited into the alternative incarceration program account.

C

Any person for whom prosecution is suspended and who is placed in the community service labor program pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall agree to the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime and to a waiver of such person’s right to a speedy trial. A pretrial community service labor program established under this section for persons for whom prosecution is suspended shall include a drug education component.

If such person satisfactorily completes the program of community service labor to which such person was assigned, such person may apply for dismissal of the charges against such person and the court, on reviewing the record of such person’s participation in such program and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges. If the program provider certifies to the court that such person did not successfully complete the program of community service labor to which such person was assigned or is no longer amenable to participation in such program, the court shall enter a plea of not guilty for such person and immediately place the case on the trial list.

D

The period of participation in a community service labor program shall be a minimum of fourteen days for a first violation and thirty days for a second violation involving a plea of guilty and conviction.

Accelerated Rehabilitation

The Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Program (A.R.) (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-56e) is available to certain individuals charged with crimes or motor vehicle violations that are not of a serious nature, but for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed. This program is not available to persons charged with certain felonies, those with previous convictions, those adjudged a youthful offender within the preceding five years, or those who are eligible for or previously have used certain other diversionary programs, such as the Family Violence Education Program or the Pretrial Drug Education Program.

Prior to being granted accelerated rehabilitation, the defendant is required to give notice to the victim, if there is one. The victim has an opportunity to be heard on the defendant’s application to the program. If the court grants the application, the defendant is released into the custody of the Court Support Services Division (CSSD). This happens for a period not to exceed two years. If the defendant successfully completes the assigned program, the charges are dismissed by the court.

Unless waived by the court, the AR program requires an application fee of $35 and a program fee of $100.  If the defendant is ordered to participate in a hate crimes diversionary program as a condition of AR, the program fee is $425.

SECTION CITED FROM:  A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (p. 12).  JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-56i Pretrial drug education program

A

A pretrial drug education program exists for persons charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279. The drug education program shall include a ten session drug intervention program. Also, there is a fifteen session drug intervention program. Finally, there is a drug treatment program.

B

Upon application by any such person for participation in such program there is payment. An application fee of one hundred dollars and a nonrefundable evaluation fee of one hundred dollars exists. The court shall, but only as to the public, order the court file sealed. This happens provided such person states under oath that they have never used such program before.

A person shall be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education program if such person has previously participated in the eight session, ten session or fifteen session drug education program, or substance abuse treatment established under this section or the pretrial community service labor program established under section 53a-39c. The evaluation and application fee required pursuant to this subsection shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k.

C

The court, after consideration of the recommendation of the state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney or deputy assistant state’s attorney in charge of the case, may, in its discretion, grant such application. If the court grants such application, the court shall refer such person to the Court Support Services Division for confirmation of the eligibility of the applicant and to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for evaluation.

D

Upon confirmation of eligibility and receipt of the evaluation required pursuant to subsection (c), such person shall be referred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services by the Court Support Services Division for placement in the drug education program. Participants in the drug education program shall receive appropriate drug intervention services or substance abuse treatment program services, as recommended by the evaluation conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and ordered by the court. Placement in the drug education program pursuant to this section shall not exceed one year. Persons receiving substance abuse treatment program services in accordance with the provisions of this section shall only receive such services at state licensed substance abuse treatment program facilities that are in compliance with all state standards governing the operation of such facilities.

Any person who enters the program shall agree:

To the tolling of the statute of limitations with respect to such crime;

To a waiver of such person’s right to a speedy trial;

To complete participation in the ten-session drug intervention program, fifteen session drug intervention program or substance abuse treatment program, as recommended by the evaluation conducted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and ordered by the court;

To commence participation in the drug education program not later than ninety days after the date of entry of the court order unless granted a delayed entry into the program by the court; and

Upon completion of participation in the pretrial drug education program, to accept placement in a treatment program upon the recommendation of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or placement in a treatment program that has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, a program of a provider under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services if the Court Support Services Division deems it appropriate.

The department shall require as a condition of participation in the drug education program that any person participating in the ten session drug intervention program or the substance abuse treatment program also participate in the community service labor program, established pursuant to section 53a-39c, for not less than five days; and that any person participating in the fifteen session drug intervention program also participate in said community service labor program, for not less than ten days.

E

If the Court Support Services Division informs the court that such person is ineligible for the program and the court makes a determination of ineligibility or if the program provider certifies to the court that such person did not successfully complete the assigned program and such person did not pursue or the court denied reinstatement in the program under subsection (i) of this section, the court shall order the court file to be unsealed, enter a plea of not guilty for such person and immediately place the case on the trial list.

F

If such person satisfactorily completes the assigned program, such person may apply for dismissal of the charges against such person and the court, on reviewing the record of such person’s participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division and on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss the charges.

If such person does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such person after satisfactorily completing the assigned program, the court, upon receipt of the record of such person’s participation in such program submitted by the Court Support Services Division, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss the charges. Upon motion of such person and a showing of good cause, the court may extend the placement period for a reasonable period for such person to complete the assigned program. A record of participation in such program shall be retained by the Court Support Services Division for a period of ten years from the date of application.

G

At the time the court grants the application for participation in the pretrial drug education program, such person shall pay to the court a nonrefundable program fee of three hundred fifty dollars if such person is ordered to participate in the ten session drug intervention program or five hundred dollars if such person is ordered to participate in the fifteen session drug intervention. If the court orders participation in a drug treatment program, such person shall be responsible for the costs associated with such program.

No person may be excluded from any such program for inability to pay such fee, provided (1) such person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, (2) such indigency or inability to pay is confirmed by the Court Support Services Division, and (3) the court enters a finding thereof. The court may waive all or any portion of such fee depending on such person’s ability to pay. If the court denies the application, such person shall not be required to pay the program fee. If the court grants the application, and such person is later determined to be ineligible for participation in such pretrial drug education program or fails to complete the assigned program, the program fees shall not be refunded. All such program fees shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k.

H

If a person returns to court with certification from a program provider that such person did not successfully complete the assigned program or is no longer amenable to treatment, the provider, to the extent practicable, shall include a recommendation to the court as to whether a ten session drug intervention program, a fifteen session drug program or placement in a substance abuse treatment program would best serve such person’s needs. The provider shall also indicate whether the current program referral was an initial referral or a reinstatement to the program.

I

When a person subsequently requests reinstatement into a drug intervention program or a substance abuse treatment program and the Court Support Services Division verifies that such person is eligible for reinstatement into such program and thereafter the court favorably acts on such request, such person shall pay a nonrefundable fee of one hundred seventy-five dollars if ordered to complete a ten session drug intervention program or two hundred fifty dollars if ordered to complete a fifteen session drug intervention program, as the case may be.

Unless good cause is shown, such fees shall not be waived. If the court grants a person’s request to be reinstated into a drug treatment program, such person shall be responsible for the costs, if any, associated with being reinstated into the treatment program. All fees collected in connection with a reinstatement to a drug intervention program shall be credited to the pretrial account established under section 54-56k. No person shall be permitted more than two program reinstatements pursuant to this subsection.

J

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shall develop standards and oversee appropriate drug education programs to meet the requirements of this section and may contract with service providers to provide such programs. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to establish standards for such drug education programs.

K

Any person whose employment or residence or schooling makes it unreasonable to attend a drug intervention program or substance abuse treatment program in this state may attend a program in another state that has standards similar to, or higher than, those of this state, subject to the approval of the court and payment of the program fee as provided in this section.

Drug Education Program

The Pre Trial Drug Education Program (DEP) (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-56i) is available to individuals charged with a violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 21a-267 (drug paraphernalia) or 21a-279 (drug possession).  A person who previously participated in this program or in the community service labor program is not eligible for the DEP. Upon application for the program, the court file is sealed.

If the court grants the application, the defendant is referred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (through the Court Support Services Division) for placement in the drug education program. In addition to the educational portions of the program, completion of four days of community service is required. If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges are dismissed by the court. The Drug Education Program fee is $350. All or a portion of the fee may be waived by the court.

SECTION CITED FROM: A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (p. 14). JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06

Community Service Labor Program

Community Service Labor Program (CSLP) (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-39c) is available to persons charged with a violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 21a-267 (drug paraphernalia) or 21a-279 (drug possession). A person who previously has been convicted of a violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 21a-267 (drug paraphernalia), 21a-277 (sale/manufacture/distribution of drugs), 21a-278 (sale/manufacture/distribution of drugs by non drug dependent person) or 21a-279 (drug possession) is not eligible for the program.

The program may be granted (1) as a “suspended prosecution” pretrial diversionary program, or (2) for a person who has previously participated in the program, as a condition of probation or conditional discharge with a suspended sentence. No person may be placed in the program more than twice.

A person who is granted the “suspended prosecution” program is referred to the Court Support Service Division (CSSD) for placement in the program. A drug education component is required.  If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges are dismissed by the court. The period of community service shall be a minimum of fourteen days for a first violation and thirty days for a second violation involving a plea of guilty and conviction. There is a $205 participation fee for this program

SECTION CITED FROM: A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (p. 16).  JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06

Youthful Offender Program

The Youthful Offender Program (YO) is available to certain individuals charged with committing a crime prior to their eighteenth birthday. It is not a pretrial diversionary program, but rather an alternative to prosecution as adults for youthful offenders. All 16 and 17 year-old defendants are presumed to be eligible for YO status, except those who have been charged with certain felonies, have already been convicted of a felony on the adult docket, or have been adjudicated as a serious juvenile offender.

Upon the adjudication of any person as a youthful offender, the court may:

(1) commit the defendant;

(2) impose a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars;

(3) impose a sentence of conditional discharge or a sentence of unconditional discharge;

(4) impose a sentence of community service;

(5) impose a sentence to a term of imprisonment not greater than that authorized by the crime committed by the defendant but in no case for more than four years;

(6) impose a sentence and suspend the execution of the sentence, entirely or after a period set by the court;

(7) order treatment pursuant to section 17a-699; or

(8) if a criminal docket for drug dependant persons has been established pursuant to section 51-181b in the judicial district in which the defendant was adjudicated a youthful offender, transfer the supervision of the defendant to the court handling such docket.

Records and proceedings of youthful offenders are confidential and Youthful Offender adjudications are not deemed convictions. There is no fee for the youthful offender program. However, if a person is placed on YO probation, unless waived by the court, the probation fee of $200 is required.

SECTION CITED FROM: A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (pp. 18-19).  JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06.

Accelerated Pretrial Rehab Program

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-56e Accelerated pretrial rehabilitation

A

There shall be a pretrial program for accelerated rehabilitation of persons accused of a crime or crimes or a motor vehicle violation or violations for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment may be imposed, which crimes or violations are not of a serious nature.

B

The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant or on motion of a state’s attorney or prosecuting attorney with respect to a defendant

(1) who, the court believes, will probably not offend in the future,

(2) who has no previous record of conviction of a crime or of a violation of section 14-196, subsection (c) of section 14-215, section 14-222a, subsection (a) of section 14-224 or section 14-227a,

(3) who has not been adjudged a youthful offender within the preceding five years under the provisions of sections 54-76b to 54-76n, inclusive, and

(4) who states under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury that the defendant has never had such program invoked in the defendant’s behalf, provided the defendant shall agree thereto and provided notice has been given by the defendant, on a form approved by rule of court, to the victim or victims of such crime or motor vehicle violation, if any, by registered or certified mail and such victim or victims have an opportunity to be heard thereon.

In determining whether to grant an application under this section with respect to a person who has been adjudged a youthful offender under the provisions of sections 54-76b to 54-76n, inclusive, more than five years prior to the date of such application, and notwithstanding the provisions of section 54-76l, the court shall have access to the youthful offender records of such person and may consider the nature and circumstances of the crime with which such person was charged as a youth. Any defendant who makes application for participation in such program shall pay to the court an application fee of thirty-five dollars.

C

This section shall not be applicable: (1) To any person charged with a Class A felony, a Class B felony, except a violation of section 53a-122 that does not involve the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person, or a violation of section 14-227a, subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53-21, section 53a-56b, 53a-60d, 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-90a, 53a-196e or 53a-196f, (2) to any person charged with a crime or motor vehicle violation who, as a result of the commission of such crime or motor vehicle violation, causes the death of another person, (3) to any person accused of a family violence crime as defined in section 46b-38a who:

(A) is eligible for the pretrial family violence education program established under section 46b-38c, or (B) has previously had the pretrial family violence education program invoked in such person’s behalf, (4) to any person charged with a violation of section 21a-267 or 21a-279 who (A) is eligible for the pretrial drug education program established under section 54-56i, or (B) has previously had the pretrial drug education program invoked in such person’s behalf, (5) unless good cause is shown, to any person charged with a class C felony, or (6) to any person charged with a violation of section 9-359 or 9-359a.

D

Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, any defendant who enters such program shall pay to the court a participation fee of one hundred dollars. Any defendant who enters such program shall agree to the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to such crime and to a waiver of the right to a speedy trial.

Any such defendant shall appear in court and shall, under such conditions as the court shall order, be released to the custody of the Court Support Services Division, except that, if a criminal docket for drug-dependent persons has been established pursuant to section 51-181b in the judicial district, such defendant may be transferred, under such conditions as the court shall order, to the court handling such docket for supervision by such court. If the defendant refuses to accept, or, having accepted, violates such conditions, the defendant’s case shall be brought to trial.

The period of such probation or supervision, or both, shall not exceed two years. The court may order that as a condition of such probation the defendant participate in the zero tolerance drug supervision program established pursuant to section 53a-39d. If the defendant has reached the age of sixteen years but has not reached the age of eighteen years, the court may order that as a condition of such probation the defendant be referred for services to a youth service bureau established pursuant to section 10-19m, provided the court finds, through an assessment by a youth service bureau or its designee, that the defendant is in need of and likely to benefit from such services.

When determining any conditions of probation to order for a person entering such program who was charged with a misdemeanor that did not involve the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person or a motor vehicle violation, the court shall consider ordering the person to perform community service in the community in which the offense or violation occurred.

If the court determines that community service is appropriate, such community service may be implemented by a community court established in accordance with section 51-181c if the offense or violation occurred within the jurisdiction of a community court established by said section. If the defendant is charged with a violation of section 46a-58, 53-37a, 53a-181j, 53a-181k or 53a-181l, the court may order that as a condition of such probation the defendant participate in a hate crimes diversion program as provided in subsection (e) of this section. Also, if a defendant is charged with a violation of section 53-247, the court may order that as a condition of such probation the defendant undergo psychiatric or psychological counseling or participate in an animal cruelty prevention and education program provided such a program exists and is available to the defendant.

E

If the court orders the defendant to participate in a hate crimes diversion program as a condition of probation, the defendant shall pay to the court a participation fee of four hundred twenty-five dollars. No person may be excluded from such program for inability to pay such fee, provided (1) such person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, (2) such indigency or inability to pay is confirmed by the Court Support Services Division, and (3) the court enters a finding thereof.

The Judicial Department shall contract with service providers, develop standards and oversee appropriate hate crimes diversion programs to meet the requirements of this section. Any defendant whose employment or residence makes it unreasonable to attend a hate crimes diversion program in this state may attend a program in another state which has standards substantially similar to, or higher than, those of this state, subject to the approval of the court and payment of the application and program fees as provided in this section. The hate crimes diversion program shall consist of an educational program and supervised community service.

F

If a defendant released to the custody of the Court Support Services Division satisfactorily completes such defendant’s period of probation, such defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant and the court, on finding such satisfactory completion, shall dismiss such charges. Also, if the defendant does not apply for dismissal of the charges against such defendant after satisfactorily completing such defendant’s period of probation, the court, upon receipt of a report submitted by the Court Support Services Division that the defendant satisfactorily completed such defendant’s period of probation, may on its own motion make a finding of such satisfactory completion and dismiss such charges.

If a defendant transferred to the court handling the criminal docket for drug dependent persons satisfactorily completes such defendant’s period of supervision, the court shall release the defendant to the custody of the Court Support Services Division under such conditions as the court shall order or shall dismiss such charges. Upon dismissal, all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a. An order of the court denying a motion to dismiss the charges against a defendant who has completed such defendant’s period of probation or supervision or terminating the participation of a defendant in such program shall be a final judgment for purposes of appeal.

Alcohol and Drug Dependency Treatment

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-696. Order for suspension of prosecution and treatment for alcohol or drug dependency.

A

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person charged with a violation of section 14-227a or 53a-60d or with a Class A, B or C felony or to any person who was twice previously ordered treated under this section, subsection (i) of section 17-155y, section 19a-386 or section 21a-284 of the general statutes revised to 1989, or any combination thereof. The court may waive the ineligibility provisions of this subsection for any person.

B

The court may order suspension of prosecution and order treatment for alcohol or drug dependency as provided in this section and sections 17a-697 and 17a-698 if it, after considering information before it concerning the alcohol or drug dependency of the person, including the examination report made pursuant to the provisions of section 17a-694, finds that (1) the accused person was an alcohol dependent or drug dependent person at the time of the crime, (2) the person presently needs and is likely to benefit from treatment for the dependency, and (3) suspension of prosecution will advance the interests of justice. Treatment may begin no earlier than the date the clinical examiner reports under the provisions of section 17a-694 that space is available in a treatment program.

C

A suspension of prosecution ordered under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section may be for a period not exceeding two years. During the period of suspension, an accused person shall be placed in the custody of the Court Support Services Division for treatment for alcohol or drug dependency. The court or the Court Support Services Division may require that the person (1) comply with any of the conditions specified in subsections (a) and (b) of section 53a-30, and (2) be tested for use of alcohol or drugs during the period of suspension. The accused person shall, unless indigent, pay the cost of treatment ordered under this section.

D

If prosecution is suspended under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, (1) the statute of limitations applicable to the crime charged shall be tolled during the period of suspension, and (2) the accused person shall be deemed to have waived such accused person’s right to a speedy trial for the crime charged.

E

The court shall not suspend prosecution under subsection (b) of this section unless (1) the accused person has acknowledged that they understand the consequences of the suspension of prosecution, (2) the accused person has given notice, by registered or certified mail on a form prescribed by the Chief Court Administrator, to the victim, if any, of the crime of which the person is accused and of the pending motion for suspension of prosecution, (3) such victim, if any, has been given an opportunity to be heard on the motion for suspension of prosecution, and (4) the accused person, unless such accused person is indigent, has paid to the clerk of the court an administration fee of twenty-five dollars.

F

If the prosecution is suspended, the person shall be released on a written promise to appear or on a bond and any other bond posted in any criminal proceeding concerning such person shall be terminated.

G

If the court denies the motion for suspension of prosecution, the state’s attorney may proceed with prosecution of the crime.

H

A person shall be deemed to be indigent for the purposes of this section if the court determines the person has an estate insufficient to provide for the person’s support or there is no other person legally liable or able to support the person.

Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Dependent Offenders in Lieu of Prosecution

Courts are authorized under a separate statutory program to order offenders who are drug or alcohol dependent into treatment in lieu of prosecution or incarceration (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 17a-696 to 17a-699).  The pretrial diversion aspect of the program covers all drug sale and possession crimes.  A person charged with driving under the influence, assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle, or a Class A, B, or C felony is not eligible for suspended prosecution and treatment. In addition, anyone who was twice previously ordered treated under this program or under a program covered by earlier versions of this law (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 17-155y(i), 19a-386, or 21a-284 of the General Statutes, revised to 1989) is not eligible. However, the court may waive these eligibility rules (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-696).

The first step in the process is a treatment evaluation. The court, on its own motion or that of the state’s attorney, or a person charged with or convicted (but not yet sentenced) of a crime, may order an examination to determine if a person is alcohol or drug dependent and eligible for treatment. A probation officer may also order such examination as part of a presentence investigation.

An eligible person may make a motion for suspended prosecution and treatment after the court receives the examination report. The court may order prosecution suspended and treatment for an eligible person if it finds that: (1) the person was alcohol or drug dependent at the time of the offense; (2) they need and are likely to benefit from treatment; and (3) suspension of prosecution would advance the interest of justice. Prosecution may be suspended for up to two years.

If the court finds that the person is responding well to treatment or has completed treatment and has complied with the other conditions of suspension, it may dismiss the charges.

SECTION CITED FROM: A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (pp. 20-21).  JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06