MODERNIZATION OF DRUG COURT PROGRAM.

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 118 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 18, 2021
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH JUDICIALLY MANAGED ACCOUNTABILITY AND RECOVERY COURTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA TO PROVIDE CASE MANAGEMENT AND CONTINUITY OF CARE FOR THOSE ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Intro. by Britt, Corbin, Perry.

Status: Re-ref to Appropriations/Base Budget. If fav, re-ref to Judiciary. If fav, re-ref to Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Feb 23 2021)
S 118

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Feb 18 2021 - More information

    Renames Subchapter XIV of Article 62 of GS Chapter 7A as Accountability and Recovery Courts (currently, Drug Treatment Courts). Renames Article 62 of GS Chapter 7A, Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Court Act (currently, North Carolina Drug Treatment Court Act). Amends GS 7A-790 to make conforming change, establishing that Article 62 is to be known and cited as the Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Act of 2021. 

    Adds to the purposes of Article 62, set out in GS 7A-791, the need for judicial programs that will reduce the incidence of offenses, delinquent acts, and child abuse and neglect where mental, behavioral, or medical health is a significant factor in commission of the offense or act. Further, provides that it is the intent of the General Assembly to create a program to facilitate the creation and operation of judicially managed accountability and recovery courts (previously, the creation and operation of local drug treatment court programs and driving while impaired treatment court programs). Replaces references to "drug abuse" with "substance abuse." 

    Makes conforming changes throughout Article 62 to refer to "judicially managed accountability and recovery courts" and remove all references to "drug treatment courts."

    Amends GS 7A-792, setting forth five goals of the judicially managed accountability and recovery courts, to add to and amend the existing goals. Amends the first goal to now provide the goal to reduce alcoholism and other substance abuse and dependencies (previously, and other drug dependencies) among adult and juvenile offenders and defendants and among respondents in juvenile petitions for abuse, neglect, or both. Amends the third goal to now provide the goal to reduce the alcohol-related and other substance-related (previously, drug-related) court workload. Amends the last goal to now provide the goal to promote effective interaction, collaboration, coordination, and use of resources (previously, to promote effective interaction and use of resources) among criminal and juvenile justice personnel, child protective services personnel, and community agencies. Adds a new goal of reducing the mental, behavioral, or medical health-related court workload.

    Amends GS 7A-793, providing that the NC Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Court Program is established in the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to facilitate the creation, administration, and funding of local judicially managed accountability and recovery courts (previously, did not specify administration). Provides that local judicially managed accountability and recovery courts established and funded pursuant to Article 62 can consist of programs approved by the AOC. Adds that a judicially managed accountability and recovery court can be established with the consent of either the chief district court judge or the senior resident superior court judge. 

    Deletes the existing provisions of GS 7A-794 and now directs the AOC to administer funding relating to the NC Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Court Program (Program).

    Amends GS 7A-795 to make conforming changes to the provisions pertaining to the Advisory Committee of the Program. Adds new provision to direct the Advisory Committee to provide minimum standards of judicially managed accountability and recovery courts in developing guidelines for the program for recommendation to the Director of the AOC (previously, directed the Advisory Committee to consider the Substance Abuse and the Courts Action Plan and other recommendations of the Substance Abuse and the Courts State Task Force).

    Amends GS 7A-796, concerning the makeup of a local judicially managed accountability and recovery court committee. Amends and adds to the provided list of persons that can be appointed to a local committee as specified. Directs the local committee to develop local guidelines and procedures, not inconsistent with the State guidelines and minimum standards (currently, minimum standards not specified), necessary for the operation and evaluation of the local judicially managed accountability and recovery court. Makes conforming change to direct the Director of AOC, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee, to develop criteria for eligibility, minimum standards, and other procedural and substantive guidelines for judicially managed accountability and recovery court operation. 

    Amends GS 7A-799 to establish that nothing in the Article confers a right or an expectation of a right to treatment or recovery management for (currently does not specify treatment or recovery management) a defendant or offender within the criminal or juvenile justice system or a respondent in a juvenile petition for abuse, neglect, or both. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 7A-800 and GS 7A-801, concerning the payment of costs of a treatment program and monitoring and reporting requirements. 

    Enacts new GS 7A-802 excluding from the scope of the Article drug treatment courts or judicially managed accountability and recovery courts in existence on or before July 1, 2021, to the extent that compliance with the Article would disqualify the court from specified grant funding. 

    Directs AOC, in coordination with each county's district attorney's office, to establish a pilot program in Haywood, Robeson, and Wayne counties that creates judicially managed accountability and recovery courts. Requires a report on the results of the pilot program by the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly upon its convening. Appropriates from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the Courts $150,000 for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years for each of the three courts in the pilot project. 

    Effective July 1, 2021.


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