The Missouri Drug Court Program provides supervised substance use recovery for eligible offenders. Entering this program can help you avoid jail time and achieve a drug-free lifestyle.
If you are facing charges for a nonviolent offense and struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, learn more about how Drug Court works in Missouri.
Drug Court eligibility
In general, Drug Court may be available to you if you are at least 18 years old, have diagnosed substance use disorder and:
- You are facing nonviolent felony charges and have no prior offenses.
- You will soon be released from the Missouri Department of Corrections.
- You are on probation in Missouri.
Some offenders enroll in the program voluntarily, while others must complete Drug Court as part of parole or probation. For voluntary entry, you or your attorney must request referral from the prosecutor handling your case. You must reside in the Missouri county where you plan to enter Drug Court.
What to expect
Upon acceptance into the program, you must:
- Attend court regularly as required
- Participate in individual and group counseling
- Submit to drug testing
- Take part in an educational or vocational training program or maintain regular employment
- Attend 12-step meetings
Most people complete the Drug Court Program in one to two years. However, you can receive dismissal from the program for threatening or violent actions, lack of cooperation with the treatment program, missed substance screenings, new arrests, and new warrants.
Benefits of Drug Court
According to the state’s treatment court fact sheet, Missouri’s programs currently serve about 4,800 individuals. Since the state’s first Drug Court opened in Jackson County in 1990, more than 22,000 residents have successfully graduated.
Through community partnerships, participants receive opportunities to pursue careers, education and job training. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to have your charges dismissed by the court. In addition, the National Association of Drug Courts notes that people who finish this type of program are 35% less likely to have a future conviction.