Drug Court

The Pierce County Drug Court is a judicially supervised treatment program for persons whose substance abuse or dependency appears to have contributed significantly to their current arrest, conviction or crime. The program is a three-phase intervention program for adults that have pled guilty to one or more drug or alcohol related crimes. It is a collaborative effort between the Pierce County criminal justice system and the treatment community, working together toward a common goal of breaking the cycle of addiction and criminal behavior. Drug Courts are dependent upon a non-adversarial courtroom atmosphere where a single judge and a dedicated treatment team of court officers and staff work together toward a common goal. By working together, we seek to provide a variety of programs and supervision that support an individual in maintaining a drug-free life.


It is the Pierce County Drug Court's mission to promote public safety, reduce crime and improve the lives of participants, their families and the community through an intensive, collaborative, court supervised treatment program which motivates participants while holding them accountable. the program will strive to use community and state resources effectively in achieving its goals.


  • Promote self-sufficiency by reducing drug abuse through treatment
  • Provide an integrated program of treatment, education, and rehabilitation services.
  • Promote public safety by reducing recidivism.
  • Examine the cost-effectiveness of the program and demonstrate cost savings to  the taxpayer.

Eligibility Criteria

An individual is eligible to participate in the Pierce County Drug Court if they are:

  • A resident of Pierce County.
  • Charged with a felony in Pierce County.
  • The offense was committed while under the influence of, or while in the possession of illegal drugs, or while addicted to drugs where there is some relationship between the addiction and the commission of the offense.
  • Willing to comply with the Drug Court Program rules.
  • Found, through the use of a screening tool, to be addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Able to physically participate in treatment activities (within guidelines of the Americans with Disability Act).


Referrals to the Pierce County Drug Court Program may come from the following sources:

  • District Attorney's Office
  • Probation Agent, Department of Corrections
  • Defense Attorney

Once an individual is referred to Drug Court the Coordinator will screen the potential participant to see if they meet minimum requirements. An assessment tool is used to help determine the risk/need level of each participant. the applicant will then be referred to complete a comprehensive Alcohol Or Drug Assessment (AODA). After the assessment is completed, the Drug Court Team will review the information and interview the individual before deciding whether to admit the individual to Drug Court. If the Drug Court team votes to accept the individual into Drug Court, the sentencing judge must still make Drug Court a part of the sentence before the individual will be formally admitted.


Drug Court meets weekly in the west wing of the Pierce County Circuit Court on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. The Drug Court team meets prior to Drug Court at 7:45 a.m. The Drug Court session at 8:30 is open to the public.

Treatment and Testing

There are three phases in the Pierce County Drug Court Program:

  • Phase one = 3 months
  • Phase two = 4 months
  • Phase three = 6 months

Participants can expect to be in Drug Court a minimum of 13 months.

Participants atttend court weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the phase they are in and/or as determined by the Drug Court team.

Participants will be involved in random drug and alcohol testing throughout their time in Drug Court.

Participaents will follow a treatment program as determined by their alcohol or drug assessment and treatment providers.

Participants will be expected to attend 1-3 community support meetings a week depending on what phase of the program they are in. Participants are required to obtain and work with a sponsor.

After meeting the requirements of each phase the participant may apply to move the next phase. The Drug Court Team will decide when a participant is ready to move to the next phase of their program.

Further information regarding the specific rules and operating procedures of the Drug Court can be found in the Drug Court Handbook below.
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  • Attorney Drug Court Referral Form
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  • Participant Handbook
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  • Policies and Procedures Manual
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