Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 11. Drug Offender Accountability and Treatment

Drug Treatment Court Structure

46-1-1104. Drug treatment court structure. (1) Each judicial district or court of limited jurisdiction may establish a drug treatment court under which drug offenders may be processed to address an identified substance abuse problem as a condition of pretrial release, pretrial diversion under 46-16-130, probation, incarceration, parole, or other release from a detention or correctional facility.

(2) Participation in drug treatment court is voluntary and is subject to the consent of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the court pursuant to a written agreement.

(3) A drug treatment court and governmental entities that refer an offender to a drug treatment court shall adopt an evidence-based program evaluation tool that measures how closely the drug treatment court programs meet the known principles of effective intervention. The tool must measure program content and capacity to ensure the delivery of effective interventions for offenders.

(4) A drug treatment court may grant reasonable incentives under a written agreement if the court finds that a drug offender is performing satisfactorily in drug treatment court, is benefiting from education, treatment, and rehabilitation, has not engaged in criminal conduct, and has not violated the terms and conditions of the agreement. Reasonable incentives may include but are not limited to:

(a) graduation certificates;

(b) early graduation;

(c) fee reduction or waiver of fees;

(d) record expungement of the underlying case; or

(e) reduced contact with a probation officer.

(5) The court may impose reasonable sanctions under the agreement, including incarceration or termination from the drug treatment court, if the court finds that the drug offender is not performing satisfactorily in drug treatment court, is not benefiting from education, treatment, or rehabilitation, has engaged in conduct rendering the offender unsuitable for the program, has otherwise violated the terms and conditions of the agreement, or is for any reason unable to participate. Sanctions may include but are not limited to:

(a) a short-term jail sentence;

(b) fines;

(c) extension of time in the program;

(d) peer review;

(e) geographical restrictions;

(f) termination; or

(g) contempt of court.

(6) Upon successful completion of drug treatment court, a drug offender's case must be disposed of by the judge in the manner prescribed by the agreement and by the applicable policies and procedures adopted by the drug treatment court. This may include but is not limited to pretrial diversion under 46-16-130, dismissal of criminal charges, probation, deferred sentencing, suspended sentencing, or a reduced period of incarceration. A drug offender who successfully completes the program may be given credit for the time the offender served in the drug treatment program by the judge upon disposition.

(7) Each local jurisdiction that intends to establish a drug treatment court or to continue the operation of an existing drug treatment court shall establish a local drug treatment court team.

(8) The drug treatment court team shall, when practicable, conduct a staff meeting prior to each drug treatment court session to discuss and provide updated information regarding drug offenders. After determining the offender's progress or lack of progress, the court, with input from the drug treatment court team, shall determine the appropriate incentive or sanction to be applied.

(9) The provisions of this part apply only to offenders who qualify for participation based on qualifications established by each drug treatment court. The provisions of this part do not apply to drug offenders who have been convicted of a sexual offense, as defined in 46-23-502. This part does not confer a right or expectation of a right to participate in a drug treatment court and does not obligate a drug treatment court to accept any offender. The establishment of a drug treatment court may not be construed as limiting the discretion of a prosecutor to act on any criminal case that the prosecutor considers advisable to prosecute. Each drug treatment court judge may establish rules and may make special orders and necessary rules that do not conflict with rules adopted by the Montana supreme court.

(10) Each drug offender shall contribute to the cost of drug treatment court in accordance with 46-1-1112(2).

(11) A drug treatment court coordinator is responsible for the general administration of a drug treatment court under the direction of the drug treatment court judge.

(12) The supervising agency shall timely forward information to the drug treatment court concerning the drug offender's progress and compliance with any court-imposed terms and conditions.

(13) A department of corrections probation and parole officer may participate in a drug treatment court team if authorized by the department. The department may authorize participation if it determines, in its discretion, that the caseloads of local probation and parole officers permit participation. If necessitated by a change in caseloads, the department may withdraw authorization for participation by its probation and parole officers in a drug treatment court. The department of corrections may not authorize its probation and parole officers to supervise a participant of a drug treatment court program who has not been convicted of a felony offense and committed to the supervision of the department.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 282, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 282, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 456, L. 2019.