The State of Minnesota has a unique approach to a variety of cases that go through the court system. In Minnesota, there are six variations of what are known as specialty treatment courts.
The aim of these special treatment courts is to provide additional assistance to those who are facing the court system while also suffering from mental illness or substance abuse.
Treatment courts rely on evidence-based practices and trained staff in order to help guide participants and steer them toward the services they need for rehabilitation. Learn more about each type of treatment court in Minnesota below.
Adult Drug Court
Adult drug courts in Minnesota deal with drug and alcohol-addicted offenders differently than the traditional court system.
This court works with defendants to help them get sober and enter recovery through treatment, drug testing, regularly-scheduled mandatory court appearances, and the use of immediate penalties or motivations that help to change behavior.
Judges that preside over drug courts still work with prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, treatment professionals, and law enforcement to help guide the defendant, but the roles are a little different than what is found in a regular Minnesota court.
The objective is to provide addicts with immediate help which will hopefully help them to deal with the underlying issues that may have landed them in the judicial system in the first place.
Juvenile Drug Court
This specialized treatment court works with juveniles who have been identified as having alcohol or drug issues.
Teams meet with the juvenile and their family weekly over the course of a year or more to determine the best way to address any drug or alcohol problems or dependency that resulted in the juvenile entering the justice system in the first place.
Another type of treatment court found in Minnesota is DWI Court. This specialized treatment court is devoted to helping defendants addicted to alcohol and drugs that have been arrested for driving while intoxicated.
DWI Court’s main goal is to help protect public safety by helping impaired driving offenders to get the help they need and not re-offend through many of the same treatment methods found in Drug Court. Most of those in DWI Court are repeat DWI offenders.
Family Dependency Treatment Court
Often, drug and alcohol issues impact the entire family unit. Cases in this treatment court target those from juvenile or family court that have neglect, dependency, or abuse at the heart of the case. Often, parental substance abuse is the driving force behind it.
In this court, the judge, attorneys, treatment providers, and child protective services workers provide a stable home for the child as they also help parents to recover from drugs or alcohol.
The ultimate goal of this court is the reunification of the family and recovery for the parents in the long term.
Veterans Treatment Court
This treatment court is exactly what it sounds like: specialized treatment for veterans that helps to promote sobriety and stability for the veteran.
It brings mental health treatment, drug treatment, and veteran’s services together with the goal of supporting veterans as well as their families as they address mental health or drug dependency issues.
Mental Health Court
This treatment court follows a similar model as drug courts but its primary focus is on the mental health and stability of the defendant.
Unfortunately, many people involved in the criminal justice system have mental health challenges. It is the goal of this court to help address those challenges and, in doing so, help to reduce the chances that the defendant will re-offend.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.