Specialty Court Program Overview

The Specialty Court Funding and Policy 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 Lidia Stiglich serves as the 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.

WATCH: Drug Courts Explained

Nevada currently has 65 Specialty Court programs, with 62 of these programs being funded by the AOC. These 65 programs include: 21 adult drug, 9 DUI, 6 veterans treatment, 6 mental health, 4 family treatment, 4 juvenile drug, 4 community, 3 habitual offender, 2 medication-assisted treatment, 2 co-occurring disorders, 2 prison re-entry, 1 trauma, and 1 gambling diversion treatment. There are Specialty Court programs in every county in both urban and rural areas.

Contact Information

Specialty Court Program
Administrative Office of the Courts | Supreme Court of Nevada
Stephanie Gouveia, Specialty Courts Statewide Coordinator
408 East Clark Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 486-9395
Email: sgouveia@nvcourts.nv.gov