The purpose of the Sixth Judicial District Drug Court is to provide an integrated program for nonviolent drug offenders that focuses on developing their ability to regain control of their lives by being clean and sober, gainfully employed and in a stable living environment. In addition, the purpose of the program is to benefit the community in which the participants reside by enhancing public safety, while reducing incarceration costs and recidivism.
Under the guidance of the Court, Drug Court participants are subject to intense judicial monitoring, are required to drug test frequently, attend counseling sessions, obtain an education and secure a job.
In 20 years since the first Drug Court was founded, there has been more research published on the effects of Drug Courts than on virtually all other criminal justice programs combined.
The scientific community has put Drug Courts under a microscope and concluded that Drug Courts work. They are better than jail or prison and better than probation and treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy. It has been determined that drug courts save taxpayers money.
Former Eighth Judicial District Judge Jack Lehman started the nation’s fifth Drug Court in Clark County in 1992 and former Second Judicial District Judge Peter Breen established Washoe County’s first Drug Court in 1995 following the national model that began in Miami, Florida in 1989.
The Sixth Judicial District Drug Court was established in July 2004 by Judge Richard A. Wagner and Judge John M. Iroz. There have been 199 defendants enrolled in the program since its inception. There are currently 44 clients in the program.
In the Sixth Judicial District Drug Court it takes a minimum of 18 months to complete the Drug Court Program. However, graduation from the program depends on the participation and progress of the defendant with the Drug Court and a recommendation from the treatment provider and Drug Court Team. The Program is set up in five phases. Each phase has a different level of intensity and requirements. Some clients will require inpatient treatment. The cost of the Program is incurred by the defendants and with the help of Specialty Court funds as described above. The following is required from each defendant during their placement in the program:
If the defendant does not comply with the rules of Drug Court, the following sanctions may be imposed:
The Sixth Judicial District Drug Court Team is a collaboration of the District Court, the Drug Court Coordinator, the District Attorney’s Office, Defense Attorney/Public Defender’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, the Police Department, the Division of Parole and Probation, contracted drug testers, Job Opportunities in Nevada (JOIN), Rural Mental Health, Vocational Rehabilitation Center and community-based addiction treatment providers who provide assessment and case management for eligible clients. The Team meets on a weekly basis to discuss the progress of each defendant enrolled in Drug Court.