Erie County Treatment Court
The Erie County Treatment Court consists of four components: a drug & alcohol component commonly referred to as Drug Court (started in March 2000), a mental illness component commonly referred to as Mental Health Court (started in March 2002), a program with drugs & alcohol and mental health specifically for cases involved with the Erie County Office of Children & Youth referred to as Family Dependency Court (started in September 2011) and our newly formed Veterans Treatment Court (started in January 2015) which operates separately. The Drug and MH components work within the framework of one combined “Treatment Court” in order to handle drug involved defendants and or seriously mentally ill defendants. The Family component works with drug involved parents and or seriously mentally ill parents in Family Dependency Court. Treatment Court is in a supportive, treatment oriented setting that uses graduated sanctions along with incentives.
The Erie County Treatment Courts have been developed to handle the nonviolent, seriously mentally ill offenders and non-violent drug dependents through intensive and comprehensive supervision, case management and treatment. The interveners on the Treatment Court Team are the Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, Case Managers, Treatment Specialists, Probation Officers, Caseworkers, Law Enforcement, Correctional Personnel and others. This unique partnership that has been developed in Erie County is able to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach in addressing the most devastating problems facing our community today; drug abuse, mental illness and/or crime.
The Erie County Treatment Court is a joint program involving:
- The Erie County Court of Common Pleas, Sixth Judicial District
- The Erie County Public Defenders Office
- The Erie County District Attorneys Office
- Erie County Office of Human Services
- Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Office of Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities
- Erie County Care Management
- Erie County Adult Probation/Parole Department
- The Erie County Prison
- Mercyhurst College Civic Institute
- Drug & Alcohol/Mental Health Treatment Providers
- Erie County Office of Children and Youth
There are currently over 2,800 drug courts, over 275 mental health courts, more than 300 family drug courts that are either in operation or being planned nationwide.
Pennsylvania has approximately 100 “problem solving” court programs in operation or being planned.
Erie County is an organizational member of the National and PA Association of Drug Court Professionals.
There have been 35 Treatment Court graduations. There have been 294 graduates from the Erie County Treatment Court programs.