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What is the Hennepin County Drug Court Program?

In Hennepin County, Minnesota, individuals accused of various drug crimes may qualify for voluntary participation in the Hennepin County Drug Court program. This is a 12-month program offered to certain defendants who agree to plead guilty to their charges. It is given as an alternative to other kinds of criminal prosecution for people who are chemically dependent on the drugs they have been accused of possessing.

The idea behind the Hennepin County Drug Court is positive in that it seeks to help people suffering from chemical dependency to stay sober and out of trouble. Those who participate in the Drug Court will regularly appear before a Drug Court Judge during the 12-month program. They will also be subjected to an intense probation supervision that involves the input of a team of professionals relating to their group therapy, medical therapy and psychological therapy.

Typically, program participants will attend a treatment program that is six months or more in length. They will receive regular urine and breath testing, group counseling, individual counseling, and they will regularly attend support groups in their communities.

Anyone considering participation in the Drug Court should remember that this is a very intensive program that is not right for everyone. Participation is voluntary as well. However, for those who are suffering from chemical dependency, it can literally change their lives for the better, if they have the mental and psychological stamina to successfully complete the program.

There are stiff penalties and sanctions for those who do not comply with the Hennepin County Drug Court program. For example, failure to comply might cause a Minnesota participant to be subjected to more drug and alcohol testing, more courtroom appearances and deeper probation supervision. Failure to comply could also result in prison or jail time. As such, the decision to participate in the program should be taken very seriously.

Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Hennepin County Drug Court," accessed May. 29, 2015

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