473 Drug Treatment Courts: An Integrated Approach

Registration Open

Brown University Distance Learning Program is offering a credited, on-line course on drug treatment courts: an integrated approach.

In the late 1980’s drug courts were implemented as a response to provide an intervention for non-violent substance abusing offenders. Notably, the Miami/Dade County Drug Court was the first court implemented. It has been operational since 1989 when the Honorable Judge Herbert M. Klien continued to experience repeated and detrimental effects of drug offenses within his circuit. He “became determined to solve the problem of larger numbers of people on drugs.” (Miami’s Drug Court: A Different Approach, 1993) This drug court has become a model program for the Nation (National Criminal Justice Reference Service, n.d.).

Trends reveal substance-abusing offenders, who were also returning to the legal system repeatedly, have heavily affected the criminal justice system. Many offenders were committing non-violent crimes related to alcohol or other drug charges. The traditional adversarial system of justice was ineffective at addressing substance abuse issues. At the same time, treatment and continued support for substance abusers, has diminished greatly, in both the private and public system. The innovation of drug court treatment combined with legal case processing increases the participant’s accountability while providing long-term treatment to assist in behavioral change through sustained program support. Potential outcomes of supportive court monitoring combined with treatment suggest the offender will experience a change in behavior and decrease recidivism (National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 2000; Senjo & Leip, 2001)

Drug treatment courts ensure the full involvement of the key stakeholders. The primary stakeholders include a presiding judge and sometimes an alternate judge, designated to oversee all proceedings of the drug court process, prosecution, defense counsel, law enforcement, police / sheriff department, probation, correctional staff, community partners, and substance abuse treatment representatives. Combined, the drug court team directs a mandated process of accountability and treatment of the drug court participant in an effort to accomplish three outcomes: (1) reduce recidivism, (2) provide treatment, and (3) accountability of the offender. In exchange for involved participation in drug treatment court, the offender may be offered a variety of outcomes depending upon the individual program (U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Courts Program Office, 1997).

In this course we will examine drug courts from an integrated process – the blending of treatment with legal case processing. Additional topics reviewed will include screening and assessment of adult substance abusing offenders, ethical issues for drug court practitioners, and the key components for drug and other specialty courts.


Diane Sherman, Ph.D., NCAC-II is an organizational consultant and national trainer. She has worked in the substance abuse profession since 1975. In her consulting services, she has three specific areas of focus: coaching, consultation and continuing education. Dr. Sherman provides Executive Coaching for those persons seeking to maximize their leadership potential. She is a CARF surveyor and consultant for agencies seeking or maintaining national accreditation. Presently, she is responsible for monitoring substance abuse services for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Over her professional tenure, Diane has trained nationally for NAADAC, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, CARF, Southeast School of Addiction Studies, South Carolina Behavioral Health Services Association, Tennessee Advanced School on Addiction, and locally for Georgia Department of Human Resources, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, and Georgia Addiction Counselors Association.

Diane provides organizational consulting, training and clinical evaluation services for behavioral health agencies. Her leadership course has been presented at a major regional conference held in Georgia, representing 8 states, and Belmont University on behalf of the Tennessee Advanced School of Addiction Studies. Her interest in the area of leadership is concerned with professional development and ethical practices.

Course Objectives

  • Gain a broader understanding of treatment drug courts as an integrated approach
  • Understand the necessary components to include in the drug court structure
  • Identify specific screening and assessment tools appropriate for substance abusing offenders
  • Increase knowledge related to legal and ethical issues for drug court participants and practitioners

Course Requirements

This is a four-week course, beginning on March 22, 2010. Requirements are:

  • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
  • Completion of pre and post test
  • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
  • Participation in the weekly course forum
  • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

*Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

A full refund is available up until March 30, 2010 after which there will be no refunds.


$60.00 Certification

  • This four-week course, which begins on March 22, 2010, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 8 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
  • This course meets the qualifications for 8 hours of continuing education credit for MFCC’s and/or LCSW’s as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE#1917).
  • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 8 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
  • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.

$100.00 Certification

  • This Brown Distance Learning Program workshop is approved by the American Psychological Association for 8 CE’s for psychologists.  The Brown Distance Learning Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

*Combined certificates are available upon request.

Certificates will be mailed within two weeks to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of Brown Distance Learning contact hours.

To participate, you must have:

  • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
  • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for Brown DLP online courses
  • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
  • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: March 22, 2010 or when the course limit is reached.

To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page. On the Enrollment page select ‘473 Drug Treatment Courts’ using the pull down menu and click on the enroll button. Having enrolled into the course you will be prompted for payment. You may make your payment online or by regular mail. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

For a list of current Brown University Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the Brown University Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact Monte Bryant, Program Administrator, at Monte Bryant, or (401) 863-6606.

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