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Judge and Gavel

How Recovery Court Works


The Clark County Recovery Court is designed to provide individuals the opportunity to address their substance use disorder and move beyond criminal behavior. It is a court-ordered program, with entrance occurring post plea/adjudication. The program will have distal and proximal goals toward abstinence and is intensive in nature. Requirements include mandatory substance use treatment, random drug/alcohol testing, regular court appearance, case management meetings, and attendance at support and/or mutual aid groups (e.g., AA, NA, CA, SMART). Participants will also be expected to obtain employment and/or pursue educational opportunities, participate in pro-social activities, and pay program fees.

Recovery Court is a minimum of 13 months and divided into five phases. Movement from phase to phase is contingent on the completion of phase requirements. An application process is utilized for phase movement and graduation.

All potential Recovery Court participants will be screened for substance use disorders, residency, and offense status for consistency with Recovery Court eligibility upon referral. Race, gender, religious affiliation, creed, color, sexual orientation, and national origin will not be considered when determining his or her eligibility. Similarly, co-occurring mental health and/or medical diagnoses or use of FDA-approved medications for substance use disorder treatment will not preclude participation

Offenders eligible for Recovery Court must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The offender is a Clark County resident of at least 17 years of age at the time of admission to the Program. Any subsequent change of address must be approved by the Team.

  • The offender has been placed on probation following a finding of guilt for a criminal offense relating to the use of abuse of any controlled substance or illegally obtained prescription medication (e.g., felony drug offense or drug-related property offense, repeated misdemeanor drug offenses)

  • The offender is not a “violent offender” (Wis. Stat. §165.95 (3) c)). 

  • The offender is diagnosed with substance dependency or substance use disorder with a need for clinical treatment by a qualified, dually certified substance abuse counselor and mental health therapist.

  • Is classified as “high risk” via ORAS-CST assessment, which refers to the likelihood that an offender will not succeed adequately on standard supervision, and will continue to engage in the same behavior that got him or her into trouble in the first place. (When appropriate those classified as “moderate-high risk” and high needs will be considered for admission and reviewed by the Team)

  • Is classified as having a “high need” via ORAS-CST assessment.

  • The offender voluntary agrees to abide by the terms of the Recovery Court Program.

  • The offender is subject to a minimum of 18 months’ probation.

Defendants enter Recovery Court after the plea and the sentence is pronounced. Those with pending criminal cases in multiple jurisdictions may be considered for Recovery Court.

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