Data from the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse indicates that residents continue to face a multilateral substance abuse threat in their personal lives, families and communities. In a situation where one mistake or ill-advised bout of misconduct can have years-long, or even lifelong, repercussions, Broward County’s Drug Court program works to help eligible offenders move past their transgressions and get the help they need to live up to their full potential. Recovery Unplugged routinely works with the Broward County Drug Court Program to usher participants toward the second chance they need and deserve for a fresh start.
The Broward County Drug Court Program is currently under the supervision of the Honorable Judge Towbin Singer and was established nearly 30 years ago in recognition of the need for treatment over mass incarceration in the area. It was the third drug court program in the country, and the second in Florida behind Miami, to offer this foresight and opportunity for redemption. The Drug Court, unlike the traditional criminal court, utilizes a team approach to working with an individual. The Assistant Public Defenders assigned to the court by Broward County’s Public Defender Howard Finkelstein work in cooperation with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Department of Corrections, and the State Attorney’s Office under the judicial leadership of the Honorable Marcia Beach, to intervene on behalf of and treat offenders. Since its implementation, recidivism rates have remained at less than four percent.
Prospective participants for the Broward County Drug Court Program must be 18 years of age and have no prior criminal record, charged with a second or third degree felony as defined in Florida Statute Section 893.13, alleging the purchase or possession for personal use, and not for resale or delivery, of any Controlled substance identified in Florida Statute Section 893.033 and other substance abuse related charges. Eligibility is determined as soon as possible after arrest to expedite the treatment process. Upon acceptance, participants are referred immediately to a multi-phased outpatient treatment program, such as Recovery Unplugged, that offers a full continuum of care.
Accountability and compliance with the program is demonstrated through biweekly hearings before Broward Circuit Judge Marcia Beach, as well as regular drug screenings and follow-up documentation. At the end of the program, successful participants can have their charges dismissed and the documents and records associated with their case sealed. In addition to providing comprehensive medical and behavioral care, Recovery Unplugged assists with all compliance requirements and paperwork.
Sehar Ryan is our Court Liaison for the East Coast, aiding incoming clients in all court-related matters, including but not limited to Marchman Act procedures, downward departures, alternate sentencing, custody assessments and status reports. In addition, Sehar assists in all matters relating to treatment placement, community outreach, client advocacy and account maintenance. She is deeply committed to helping our eligible drug offenders gain the opportunity for freedom, recovery and a better future.