Patients come to Sovereign Health because they want to change their lives. Our treatment programs afford them this opportunity. But legal problems stemming from a substance abuse problem can interfere with treatment. Court Services removes the interference and allows patients in California to focus solely on recovery.
As legal advocates, Sovereign Health’s Court Services helps patients enter treatment in lieu of receiving prison sentences for offenses related to addiction. Our behavioral health centers provide treatment for substance abuse, mental health conditions and dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders). Each patient receives a custom treatment plan based on the patient’s medical history and information collected during the intake assessment.
1. Treatment, Not Incarceration
The Supreme Court ordered California to reduce overcrowding in its prisons. As a result, the state has changed how some drug offenses are prosecuted. California courts are more open to granting people with drug offenses the ability to enter treatment rather than sending them to serve prison sentences.
Court Services acts as the patient’s legal advocate, working with the patient’s defense attorney as well as the judge and district attorney to procure treatment in lieu of incarceration. We craft an individualized treatment plan to address each patient’s specific needs and present it to the court. In accordance with this plan, Court Services provides the court with progress markers the patient is expected to reach during the course of his or her treatment.
In addition to these progress reports, Court Services provides the following:
- Clinical assessments of a patient’s progress. These contain more clinical information than do progress reports
- Letters of recommendation to the court
- Referrals to criminal defense firms, many of which offer free consultations
- Transportation to and from court
- Service as court liaison for all court appointments and hearings
- Ensuring all court-mandated drug tests are performed on schedule
2. Alternative sentencing requirements
California Penal Code section 1000 allows for a Deferred Entry of Judgment, in which sentencing is suspended while the patient completes an 18-to-36 month addiction treatment program. Some drug offenses that may be eligible for a Deferred Entry of Judgment include:
- Possession of a controlled substance, such as marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as crack pipes and syringes
- Being caught under the influence of a controlled substance
- Growing marijuana for personal use
- Altering a prescription for one’s own use
For a patient to receive a Deferred Entry of Judgment, he or she must:
- Have no prior drug offenses on his or her record
- Have no violent offenses on his or her record
- Have no felony offenses in the past five years on his or her record
- Not be currently on probation or parole
- Have no previous Deferred Entries of Judgment
If these requirements are met, the court may agree to allow the patient to receive a Deferred Entry of Judgment and receive court-mandated treatment through an agreed-upon behavioral health treatment provider such as Sovereign Health.
3. Treatment at Sovereign Health
Sovereign Health provides behavioral health treatment for substance abuse, mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. Our staff uses the latest evidence-based modalities as well as alternative therapies to provide holistic treatment. Each patient receives a tailored plan based on his or her needs, which may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Solution-focused brief therapy
- Brief strategic therapy
- Individual, group and family therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
Our alternative therapies include equine therapy, art therapy and music therapy through the Rock to Recovery program.
4. HIPAA Compliance
Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996. The Act was created to protect patients’ privacy. Patients who are diverted to treatment surrender some of the privacy protections afforded them by HIPAA. Sovereign Health assiduously protects every patient’s privacy. The only patient information we divulge to the court is information necessary to satisfy the sentencing agreement. Court Services personnel are legal professionals; we do not provide legal representation, but we abide by all tenets of client confidentiality.
5. Choosing Sovereign for Treatment
We are a national leader in behavioral health treatment. Each Sovereign Health facility provides:
- Joint Commission-accredited treatment
- Evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities
- Customized treatment plans
- Continuing care for up to one year following successful completion of treatment
Substance abuse is a complex disease. We treat all overt and underlying aspects of this disease. Only when all issues are addressed do patients have a realistic chance at living a life free of chemical dependence. Contact our 24/7 helpline to learn more.