Section 12-23A-6

Assessments and recommendations; treatment services.

(a) As part of the assessment, each jurisdiction shall establish a system to ensure that drug offenders are placed into a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Department of Mental Health. To accomplish this, the entity conducting the assessment should make specific recommendations to the drug court team regarding the level of treatment program and duration necessary so that the individualized needs of a drug offender may be addressed. These assessments and resulting recommendations shall be performed by a certified or licensed alcohol and drug professional in accordance with the criteria certified by the Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse Services Division. Treatment recommendations accepted by the court, pursuant to this chapter, shall be deemed to be reasonable and necessary.

(b) An adequate continuum of care for drug offenders shall be established in response to this chapter.

(c) The drug court, when practicable, shall ensure that no agency provide both assessment and treatment services for a drug court to avoid potential conflicts of interest or the appearance that a given assessment agency might benefit by determining that an offender is in need of the particular form of treatment that the assessor provides.

(d) A drug court making a referral for substance abuse treatment shall refer the drug offender to a program that is certified by the Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse Services Division.

(e) The court shall determine which treatment programs are authorized to provide the recommended treatment to a drug offender. The relationship between the treatment program and the court should be governed by a memorandum of understanding, which should include the timely reporting of the progress or lack thereof of the drug offender to the drug court.

(f) Appropriate services for mental health treatment should be made available by the Department of Mental Health, where practicable, recognizing that a drug offender is frequently co-occurring.

(g) Recognizing that appropriate levels of substance abuse treatment, including appropriate length of stay, impact success, the drug court team may require assessments that determine the appropriate level of care and refer to programs certified by the Department of Mental Health for the provision of the indicated treatment.

(Act 2010-754, p. 1909, §6.)