Drug Courts were initially implemented in New Jersey in 1996. Hudson County began their Drug Court Program in 2002. At the onset, these Drug Court Programs were for those offenders who volunteered for the Program. In 2012, Governor Christie signed into law P.L. 2012, c. 23, which expanded the Program to compel offenders with drug addictions into the Program. Currently there are nine Mandatory Drug Court Programs and Hudson County is proudly one of them.
Drug Courts are unique in that the program revolves around a team based approach to a participant’s treatment with the Judge as the leader of the team. The team includes, court staff, lawyers, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators and treatment programs who work collaboratively to support and monitor a participant’s recovery. The overall goal of Drug Court is to target those offenders who would benefit from drug and alcohol counseling in an attempt to break the cycle of addiction and recidivism.
The Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor is an essential member of the Drug Court team. The Assistant Prosecutors assigned to Drug Court ensure the community safety concerns by maintaining eligibility standards for the admission of offenders into the Drug Court Program. The Assistant Prosecutors are also tasked with the responsibility for responding to motions, violations of probation, sanctions and sentencings.