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SUPERIOR COURT
Our Drug Court Program

Delaware Drug Court & Information System
Drug Court Program In Superior Court
Drug Court Background Information
Delaware's Drug Court Information System
Drug Court Standards & Procedures for Trial Courts
Treatment Access Center (TASC) Treatment Providers
The first statewide Drug Court in the U.S. began in Delaware Superior Court in 1997. The Drug Court Program, now in its 17th year, started in New Castle County and was one of the first dozen Drug Courts in the nation. Defendants began to enter the program in April 1994.

Now in part because of the success of states like Delaware there are over 2,500 Drug Courts nationwide.

As of March 2011, the Superior Court Diversion Drug Court in New Castle County processed over 6,000 drug cases, in Kent County over 1497, and in Sussex County over 1,500. The program expedites cases and saves taxpayers’ money while getting participants into treatment sooner and with greater success than other methods of case management. And, incidentally, we have changed and saved a significant number of lives.

The 17-year compliance rate for the Drug Court is over 64%. That figure compares favorably with rates in similar programs nationwide even though this Court is particularly stringent about the conditions of participation and the consequences of non-compliance, as Delaware's counsel for both sides can attest. This compliance rate is double that of “voluntary” substance abuse programs.

A few years ago, the University of Delaware conducted an ambitious two-year follow-up study to determine recidivism rates and the incidence of subsequent arrests of program participants. The study's results show a significant decrease in recidivism for drug court graduates. The rate was approximately 19% as compared with 49% for those not in the program.

The Diversion Drug Court Program is a multi-agency cooperative effort. The Court acknowledges the support and hard work of the offices of the Attorney General, the Public Defender, the private bar, the counseling agencies which service the diversion program, and, of course, our own Superior Court staff.

Our Diversion Drug Court Tracks

TRACK I

Track I targets defendants who are arrested while on Superior Court probation and who are charged with one or more drug offenses that do not carry a minimum mandatory sentence.

A violation hearing is held within 14 to 21 days of arrest to resolve both the violation and the new charge. If both are resolved by a plea agreement, a punishment and treatment program is established. Each case is actively monitored by the Track I judge. If no plea agreement is reached, the violation is heard and a trial is scheduled within 90 days of arrest.
Track I has been successful in expediting the resolution of charges related to offenses committed by individuals on probation. Many of these offenders are quickly referred to residential substance abuse treatment followed by outpatient treatment.

A recent study showed that those who successfully completed Track I treatment were less likely to be re-arrested within 18 months following release. Statistics also show that this program has been successful in reducing the number of drug-addicted babies born to previously addicted mothers who have completed the program.

TRACK II

Track II targets defendants who are arrested for drug offenses who have no or minimal prior felony convictions and who are charged with offenses other than trafficking or delivery (which carry minimum mandatory sentences).

Diversion-eligible defendants waive their right to a jury trial and agree to a stipulated fact trial if they do not comply with diversion conditions.

Defendants appear at monthly hearings before the Track II judge, who monitors the defendants' progress in the drug treatment program.

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, the case against the defendant is dismissed.