Alternatives to Criminal Court for Illinois Drug Offenders
Addiction to drugs can cause good people to make choices they otherwise wouldn’t. Often, addicts develop criminal records that could have a serious negative impact on their future. Fortunately, Illinois offers residents a potential alternative to jail time for those arrested for drug-related offenses. Read on to learn if participation in the Drug Court Treatment Program known as the Rehabilitation Alternative Program at the Markham or Bridgeview courthouse might be a good solution for you.
What happens in the Rehabilitation Alternative Program?
Cook County established its Drug Court Treatment Program in 1998 as a way to provide supervision and treatment to those who have been arrested for drug-related offenses. The program, known as the Rehabilitation Alternative Program (RAP), offers participants a highly-structured treatment and monitoring program to help them escape the cycles of addiction.
The program is divided into the RAP, which treats only men, and the Women’s Rehabilitation Alternative Program (WRAP), which treats only women. Participants must plead guilty to the charges of drug possession for which they were arrested, and will be sentenced to a two-year probation during which they will complete the WRAP or RAP program. Participants will spend the first 120 days of the program undergoing in-custody treatment by certified substance abuse counselors. They will then transition into outpatient treatment while living at a halfway house or sober living residence. Participants take part in group counseling and 12-step meetings, check in with the court once a month, meet regularly with a case manager, and subject themselves to drug tests. Those enrolled in W/RAP are also required to participate in community service and are offered assistance with career development. At the conclusion of the two years, those who have completed the program successfully will graduate, at which time the conviction will be vacated and the case dismissed. Those who violate the terms of probation will be subject to sanction by the judge.
Who is eligible to participate?
W/RAP was designed for individuals who were already on probation at the time they were arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Participants are nominated by prosecutors, judges, or defense attorneys, and both the prosecutor and defense lawyer must agree to send the defendant to the W/RAP program. Defendants will not be eligible if the crime they committed was a crime of violence or if they have been convicted of a violent crime within the past ten years. Defendants must also admit that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, and demonstrate that they are willing to actively participate in a treatment program. Speak with your Chicago criminal defense lawyer if you believe that you may be eligible for probation under the Rehabilitation Alternative Program.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for a drug-related crime in the Chicago area, contact the skilled and experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney John Fairman to discuss your legal options, at 708-799-4848 (Homewood), or708-960-4806 (Bridgeview).