(a) The Administrative Director of Courts is authorized to appoint court referral officers or contract with individuals or entities to provide alcohol and drug assessment for courts and to conduct the court referral programs in each court jurisdiction of the state. Such appointments or contracts shall be made or entered into with the advice of the presiding circuit judge. The Administrative Director of Courts shall designate the locations where said court referral programs, court referral officers or contracting entities or individuals shall serve, which designations may be changed from time to time; provided, however, that all appointed court referral officers and approved court referral programs shall serve at the pleasure of the Administrative Director of Courts. Any individual or entity which contracts to conduct the court referral program shall perform all the duties as set out in the statewide policies and procedures manual for court referral programs established by the Administrative Office of Courts or these programs shall meet the national criteria for treatment alternatives to street crimes (TASC) programs. Court referral officers shall work under the general supervision and direction of the Administrative Director of Courts and the judges of the circuit to which they are assigned. Such court referral officers shall be compensated by the state from moneys contained in the alcohol and drug abuse court referral officer trust fund and/or federal grants designated by the Administrative Office of Courts for this purpose. Except for court referral officers currently employed by the Administrative Office of Courts on August 15, 1990, such officers shall not be considered employees of the state for purposes of entitlement to insurance, retirement and other state employee benefits. All such contracts will be null and void unless first reviewed according to Sections 29-2-40 and 29-2-41.
(b) Court referral officers shall be required to perform the following duties:
(1) Attend municipal, district, probate, and circuit courts as needed;
(2) Screen and evaluate all defendants ordered by the prosecutor or trial courts to participate and to recommend to the court appropriate educational and/or rehabilitative programs for such defendants;
(3) Develop and maintain a file on each defendant assigned to the court referral officer, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, information taken from arrest records, test scores, results of chemical blood alcohol tests, drug screens and other personal data;
(4) Continuously monitor defendants who are ordered to complete alcohol and/or drug related educational or rehabilitative programs and to report violations of such orders to the prosecutor or court;
(5) Provide such information and reports on defendants assigned to the court referral officer as may be required by the prosecutor, ordering court or the Administrative Director of Courts;
(6) Provide information or education on the court referral program to judges, clerks, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and the general public;
(7) Collect and report statistics, data, and other information pertaining to the court referral program and alcohol and drug related offenses as required by the Administrative Director of Courts or area judge(s);
(8) Collect and report information to the courts concerning results of urine screens, drug testing or other appropriate evaluative measures; and
(9) Perform such other duties or functions to further the purposes of this chapter as may be directed by the court which they serve or the Administrative Director of Courts.