Specialty Court Program Overview
The Specialty Court Funding Committee became active in 2003 as a result of the passage of Assembly Bill 29 (NRS 176.0613.) This committee oversees the application process by Nevada courts, sets standards for minimum program and funding criteria, establishes policies and procedures, and makes recommendations to the Statewide Judicial Council for the distribution of funds. Justice Michael Douglas and Justice Mark Gibbons serves as the Chair and Vice-Chair. All three jurisdiction levels are represented by the 15 judges who serve on the committee.
Specialty Courts are problem-solving courts that help break the cycle of drug and/or alcohol addiction that can influence adult criminal activity, juvenile delinquent behavior, or parental abuse and/or neglect of children. Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 176.0613 defines a Specialty Court program as, “A program established by a court to facilitate testing, treatment, and oversight of certain persons over whom the court has jurisdiction and who the court has determined suffers from a mental illness or abuses alcohol or drugs.”
What are Specialty Courts? Specialty Courts are problem-solving court strategies designed to address the root causes of criminal activity by coordinating efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, treatment, mental health, social services, and child protection services. Together, they maintain a critical balance of authority, supervision, support, and encouragement. Specialty Court programs are rigorous, requiring frequent drug testing and court appearances, along with tightly structured regimens of treatment and recovery services. Specialty Courts offer non-violent substance abusing offenders an alternative to incarceration. The goal of a Specialty Court is to break the cycle of the “revolving door” syndrome and support participants to achieve total abstinence from drugs and/or alcohol, by promoting responsibility and accountability, and teaching participants to become productive law abiding citizens, which in return reduces criminal recidivism and provides for better, healthier communities.
Nevada currently has 67 Specialty Court programs funded by the AOC: These 67 programs include 37 adult drug courts including diversion and child support, 4 family drug courts, 6 mental health courts, 4 juvenile drug courts, 6 DUI courts, 1 prostitution prevention court, 5 veterans treatment courts, 2 medicated assistance courts, and 2 habitual offender courts. There are Specialty Court Programs in every county in both urban and rural areas.
Specialty Court Program
Administrative Office of the Courts
Supreme Court of Nevada
201 S. Carson Street, Suite 250
Carson City, Nevada 89701
Phone: (775) 684-1780
Fax: (775) 687-9811