When the State Legislature passed the Idaho Drug Court Act in 2001, the objective was to implement a cost-effective way to divert nonviolent, chemically dependent offenders from prisons and jails into treatment and rehabilitation programs. The subsequent success of this Act has been both dramatic and demonstrable.
The Ada County Problem Solving Court program is a court-supervised, comprehensive outpatient treatment program for carefully selected defendants with histories of chemical dependence. Entry into a Problem Solving Court is voluntary. The program includes regular court appearances before a Judge and regular home visits by probation and parole officers. Treatment, provided by Ada County Treatment Services, includes frequent random drug testing, individual counseling and group counseling. Program counselors assist participants in improving their education and job skills, and can also provide referrals for vocational training and job placement.
Program participants plead guilty to their pending criminal charges, and then enter an intensive four-phase treatment program lasting approximately 16–24 months. Upon successful completion of treatment, and payment of Problem Solving Court fees and victim restitution, the defendant becomes eligible to graduate from the program; upon graduation, the guilty plea will be set aside, and the criminal charges dismissed.
As of July 22, 2015, 965 participants have successfully completed the program and graduated from Ada County Problem Solving Courts.