Drug Court Treatment Program

Broward County's Drug Court is the third oldest drug court in the nation, created in 1991, and the Drug Court Treatment Division serves close to 800 clients daily. The Drug Court Treatment Division has two programs providing diversion from jail or prison for persons with substance related conditions. The original Pre-Trial Intervention Program was designed as an alternative to traditional incarceration for first time, non-violent criminal offenders who are charged with the purchase or possession of a controlled substance and/or other substance abuse related offense. The grant funded Diversionary Treatment Program (DTP) was designed to divert adjudicated felons with substance related conditions from returning to prison. Both programs are a minimum of one-year of treatment with the goal of breaking the cycle of addiction and criminal justice involvement by using a variety of individualized treatment services to restore the participant as a productive member of society.

The Outpatient Component of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program is accredited by CARF International, Inc., an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process. This component was the first program to be accredited under CARF's Drug Court Behavioral Health Core Program Standards in 2003. The Program has been awarded three three-year accreditations which represents the highest level of accreditation and shows substantial conformance to the CARF standards during every survey since the first in 2003.

The 17th Judicial Circuit Drug Court Judges, through regular court hearings, continually monitor all participants' progress. Failure to comply with the requirements of the programs results in the imposition of a variety of graduated sanctions. Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) participants sign a Deferred Prosecution Agreement that includes a waiver of speedy trial and a limited waiver of confidentiality so staff can report the participant's progress directly to the Court. Clients are supervised by the Florida Department of Corrections.

PTI participants may be eligible to have their felony charges dismissed by participating in the Drug Court Treatment Program and meeting the following criteria.

  • Age 18 or older
  • No prior felony conviction
  • Charged with substance abuse-related charge(s)

DTP participants may subvert returning to prison and/or accruing additional points toward prison time by participating in the Drug Court Treatment Program and meeting the following criteria.

  • Age 18 or older
  • Offenders with sentencing scores of 60 points or less
  • Offenders with sentencing scores of 60 points or less who have violated community control or probation due to a failed or suspected drug test

BSO's Drug Court Treatment Division's programs have three phases or levels that utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to substance abuse treatment, encompassing both traditional and innovative interventions. The programs offer:

  • Diagnostic and assessment services
  • Orientation groups
  • Education groups
  • Group & individual therapy
  • Fellowship meetings
  • Treatment interventions
  • Drug and Alcohol screening
  • Educational/vocational referrals
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Case management
  • Psychiatric counseling
  • Family Orientation
  • Transitional Housing

The Drug Court Treatment Division is licensed to provide intervention and outpatient services through the State of Florida Department of Children and Families. Participants are referred to community sober support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery and the like in an effort to establish recovery supportive bonds prior to treatment discharge.

Any time during participants' program involvement, they may be referred to other treatment components such as detoxification, non-residential day/ night treatment, intensive residential treatment or jail-based educational programs. Alternative programs may be used with the approval of the Drug Court Judge.

Participants are charged a fee for services based on a sliding scale that measures income and the number of dependents. All participants are expected to pay for treatment on a weekly basis.

For more information, please contact the Drug Court Treatment Division at (954) 497-3610.

Department of Community Programs Main Page
Day Reporting and Reentry Division
In-Custody Behavioral Services
Pre-Trial Services Division
Probation Division
Juvenile Assessment Center

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Dwight Stephens

Manager Dwight Stephens
Drug Court Treatment Division

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Dwight Stephens graduated from Eckerd College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and from Florida Atlantic University in 1999 with a Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling. He is certified by the state of Florida as a Certified Addiction Professional.

Mr. Stephens is also a graduate of the Criminal Justice Executive Leadership Class. He has been working in the counseling field for 10 years working with adults and adolescents, specializing in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, criminal justice, and HIV/ AIDS.