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Detroit, Michigan

36th District Drug Treatment Court


The 36th District Drug Treatment Court program is a court-supervised substance use disorder treatment program for adults who have a pending misdemeanor case and a diagnosed substance use disorder. The goal of the program is to break the cycle of substance use disorder, crime, and incarceration. It is a post-adjudication program, meaning all defendants who enter the program must enter a plea and be sentenced into the program as a special condition of probation.

Admission and Target Population

The process for entry into the drug treatment court begins after arrest, when the charging document is filed. A defendant may be referred to the program at any stage of the proceedings, though it is recommended that referral be made at the earliest possible point. The 36th District Court Probation Department uses a validated risk/needs assessment instrument (the Needs+ Survey). The assessment instrument guides supervision decisions based on the individual's level of risk and helps determine the case plan objectives according to their prioritized needs. At arraignment, the district attorney conducts an initial screening by confirming the defendant is at least 18 years of age and eligible for probation as charged. Defense counsel reviews the case and screens for the remaining requirements. If the defendant appears eligible based on this initial screening, the case may be referred by the prosecutor, defense counsel, judicial officer, or probation to drug treatment court.

Program Term

The program consists of five phases lasting a minimum of 14 months. The five-phase structure is based on the model suggested by NDCI. It incorporates the minimum requirements for each phase, with an individualized approach based on the clinical and criminal justice needs of each participant. Program participation includes a peer mentor support component, culturally responsive services, and recovery-oriented wraparound services to meet the unique needs of a diverse urban population.

Entry into the program is voluntary. Once an individual has been sentenced, they may not voluntarily withdraw from the program without facing a violation of probation. Those individuals determined to be both legally and clinically appropriate for the program and wish to participate sign a contract with the terms of their plea and agree to follow all program rules and requirements.

Quick Facts

Established: 1998
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Court type: Urban
Primary track: Adult drug court
Other tracks: Mental health, veterans

Other Strengths

- Extensive continuum of treatment services
- Peer support specialist and mentors
- Housing First
- Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (HEAT) certified
- Service/therapy animals

- Yoga and mindfulness meditation
- Caregiver support and family reunification funding sources