A longtime partner of the Public Policy Center, The Lancaster County Adult Drug Court, has been named to the exclusive list of national mentor treatment courts by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and the U.S. Department of Justice. To celebrate the distinction of joining 9 other mentor courts across the country, the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court will receive an award during a meeting of the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at 555 S. 10th St., Room 112, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
National mentor courts are exemplary treatment courts selected to serve a 3-year term as model programs to assist new or growing courts. Mentor courts follow evidence-based best practices and play a significant role in national training, technical assistance, and research efforts for the nearly 4,000 treatment courts that currently are operating nationwide.
As part of NADCP’s mentor court network for 2022-2024, the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court will help develop, identify, and test national best practices and provide technical assistance to jurisdictions interested in implementing an adult drug treatment court, including hosting site visits by team members from other jurisdictions around the country.
“It is a great honor to recognize this court as one of only 10 mentor courts in the country,” said NADCP Chief of Training and Research Carolyn Hardin. “This program is a shining example of how a combination of accountability and treatment can save lives, reunite families, and make the community safer. As a mentor court, this program is helping to transform our justice system and leading countless people who might otherwise be incarcerated into lives of long-term recovery.”
The Lancaster County Adult Drug Court is administered through the Lancaster County Department of Community Corrections and the Lancaster County District Court. Established in June 2001, the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court has served over 1,000 individuals in the program and has positively impacted the lives of countless family members and friends of each participant, as well as the community at large.
The Lancaster County Adult Drug Court is a post-plea program that strives to promptly screen applicants using validated risk/need assessment tools and a structured screening process to determine eligibility. Completion of the program results in a graduation ceremony where all pending charges are dismissed, easing the strain on correctional services and the courts.
The Lancaster County Adult Drug Court targets high-risk/high-need individuals charged with nonviolent felony offenses whose substance use has led them into the criminal justice system. Program participants receive a highly structured, intensively supervised program individualized to address their specific behavioral health needs.
In partnership with the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office, other alternatives to incarceration including General Diversion, Intensive Supervised Diversion, and Treatment Diversion are provided as separate tracks to applicants not in need of the highly structured programming of the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court. Other specialized programming options include Mental Health Diversion and Veterans’ Treatment Diversion. To learn more, visit lancaster.ne.gov/192/Community-Corrections.
NADCP’s mentor court network is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, and the U.S. Department of Justice. To learn more, visit ndci.org/resource/training/visit-a-mentor-court/.