Drug Court Programs

First Offender Driver Alcohol Education (DAE)


The Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) program is available to those individuals who agree to the alternative sentencing sanction as specified within Massachusetts General Laws for the offense of driving under-the-influence. Specifically, each DAE program participant is provided with a structured group where they receive educational material to help them identify and understand alcohol abuse issues and drinking-and-driving behaviors. While the major focus of these programs is on alcohol, other substances of abuse are also discussed. The program provides 40 hours of educational services conducted over 16 weeks and includes an assessment, participation in self-help and victim-impact community meetings.

The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce the risk of future drinking and driving incidences through modifying the behavior and attitudes of program participants. For many, this may include the reduction or elimination of their alcohol use.

Eligibility: Individuals convicted of driving under the influence for the first time and who choose this option as an alternative to losing their license or possible incarceration. Referrals are generally made by the adjudicating district court; however, if the client is under 21, the Registry of Motor Vehicles may mandate the participant's participation.

Second Offender Aftercare (SOA)


The Second Offender Aftercare (SOA) Program continues the treatment efforts for those convicted of their second driving-under-the-influence offense. The SOA program provides aftercare treatment services for those individuals who have completed the Second Offender 14-Day Residential Program for Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (DUIL). Each participant will receive a comprehensive evaluation which will assist in the creation of an individualized treatment plan. Participants will then be required to attend group and/or individual counseling sessions, provide random urine and breath tests (as needed), and complete any additional recommendations suggested by the treating clinician. Each participant will be involved in treatment for one year (or longer) as mandated and required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The ultimate goal of the program is to provide participants the opportunity to take responsibility for their previous drinking and driving behaviors and make the necessary changes in order to cease further incidence of driving under the influence

Eligibility: Individuals convicted of driving under the influence for a second time. Individuals may choose this option as an alternative to at least 30 days incarceration. Referrals will be made by the Adjudicating Courts as well as the DUIL Program as part of their aftercare support. Completion of this program is one of several requirements that an individual must fulfill in order to be considered for a hardship driver's license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Ayer Drug Court Program


Drug Courts
Drug Courts take action to help the person change their life in order to stop criminal activity instead of focusing only on punishment of the offender. Nationally, Drug Courts are the primary model for addressing addictions by utilizing the judicial system's authority to meet the policy goals of public safety and child welfare.

• Drug Courts have been proven to reduce recidivism in offenders with long criminal records and a serious history of addiction.
• An estimated 80% of individuals involved in the criminal justice system are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. This addiction is the primary cause of their criminal activity.
• Massachusetts spends approximately $41,000 annually to house inmates in jails and prisons.
• The effectiveness of Drug Courts hinges on strong collaborations between the courts, other public agencies, and community organizations.
• Massachusetts is one of a few states that do not provide funding for its drug courts.

Ayer Drug Court
The Ayer Drug Court Program is a post-adjudication outpatient program; eligible participants can enter the program at various stages of case processing, including arraignment, pre-trial hearing and violation of probation hearings. A special court docket is given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives. Advocates oversees the clinical aspects of the program providing participants with individual, group and family counseling, in addition to comprehensive case management services, that will enhance the participants recovery process from the disease of addiction.

Program length: 52 weeks, including four phases of treatment.
Target population: Male and female non-violent adult offenders who reside within the court's jurisdiction, are assessed as having an alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) problem and have no prior record of violent offense.
• Each participant entering the program has a legal disposition that includes the potential for incarceration or a defined house of correction (county correctional institution) sentence that has been suspended.
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Advocates provides support services for people with:
  • Mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities or co-occurring mental illness and developmental disability
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Autism and pervasive developmental disabilities
  • Acquired or traumatic brain injury
 
We also provide support services for:
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  • Families who are supporting a family member with a disability
  • Elders living in the community who may have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder
  • Adults with a mental health diagnosis in jail or re-entering the community
  • Youth in transition from foster care
  • Individuals and families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness

 

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