The Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals (TADCP) recently joined a growing number of international, national and state associations that use the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT)for secretariat services.
The TADCP is a non-profit organization whose objective is to reduce substance abuse and crime by establishing, and funding drug courts through collaborative community efforts. CMIT will provide administrative and logistical support for the organization, such as managing its membership and upcoming 2011 Annual Drug Court Training Program in October in Dallas.
CMIT, which was created by the Texas Legislature in 1994, provides professional development training, technical assistance and research to enhance corrections in adult and juvenile community and institutional corrections agencies. It also offers professional support services to seven outside organizations in the field, including:
- The Association of Parole Authorities International
- The National Association of Probation Executives
- The National Juvenile Court Services Association
- The Texas Association for Court Administration
- The Texas Jail Association
- The Texas Probation Association
The Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals includes judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, substance abuse counselors, probation officers and court administrators involved in drug courts throughout the state.
“I think it is a positive thing that CMIT and the Drug Courts are working together,” said Fred Rangel of CMIT, who will serve as secretariat to the organization.
Drug Courts are special courts given the responsibility to handle cases involving chemically dependent offenders through an intensive supervision and treatment program. Based on an innovative program that was first developed in Miami in 1989, Drug Courts have received wide-spread attention as an effective treatment strategy for chemically dependent criminal offenders.
Drug Courts attempt to solve some of the underlying problems leading to criminal behavior by forcing offenders to deal with their substance abuse problems. The design and structure of Drug Court programs are developed at the local level and reflect the unique strengths and needs of each community. Drug Court participants are subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing and report frequently to the Judge and program staff.
Drug Courts are not in adversarial relationships, rather all parties work together toward the long term sobriety of the participant - judges, treatment providers, probation officers, law enforcement officers and others.
The organization has about 370 member and it offers an annual conference, which is expected to attract more than 400 this year, Rangel said.