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Home Courts By District 1st Judicial District Recovery Court (Adult Drug Court)
Home Courts By District 1st Judicial District Recovery Court (Adult Drug Court)
Recovery Court (Adult Drug Court)

Recovery Court is the 1st Judicial District’s Adult Drug Court and began in June of 2009. It is a 24 month program that addresses substance dependency and criminal behavior utilizing a collaborative problem solving court model. 

Click here to access the Recovery Court Program Handbook for an overview of the program and information on the team, phases, requirements, sanctions, incentives, and more!

Overview of current Presiding Judge

District Court Judge Tamara Russell
In October of 2005, Judge Russell was appointed to the District Court bench of the First Judicial District.  Before her appointment, Judge Russell supervised the Lakewood City Attorney’s Office for eight years, managing the prosecution team, drafting city ordinances and prosecuting violations.  Prior to her service at Lakewood, Judge Russell was a Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District for five years. Her career also included two years in the private sector at Varnell and Associates, providing defense for Farmers Insurance clients.
Judge Russell graduated from Indiana University with Honors, and received her law degree from the University of Colorado in 1987.  In her current position as a District Court Judge, Judge Russell has a diversified docket of both criminal and civil matters. In addition, she has presided over the Jefferson County Drug Court since its inception in 2009.

Goals of Program

The goals of the Jefferson County Recovery Court are to:
1. Increase the use of a problem solving court alternative for non-violent substance dependent criminal defendants. 
2. To reduce cost to the criminal justice system.  
3. Decrease the cycling of substance dependent individuals in the criminal justice system by utilizing treatment versus incarceration.
4. Increase pro-social investment and engagement in participants’ lives to reduce unhealthy lifestyle choices. 
5. To promote public safety by reducing recidivism in drug court participants. 

Target Population and Program Eligibility

The 1st Judicial District County Recovery Court targets high risk, high need participants. These are person with significant histories of substance abuse and prior treatment and supervision failures who are at high risk for engaging in criminal behavior due to their chemical dependence. Participants must agree to discontinue all mood altering substances that are not prescribed by a physician and approved by the Recovery Court team. To be eligible for referral the offender must either be: 

  1.  Convicted of a new felony offense and in need of intensive substance abuse treatment; or
  2.  Under probation revocation from regular adult supervision for a felony offense. 
  3.  Additionally, the offender must currently be facing revocation primarily due to violations stemming from his/her chemical dependence issues. 

These guidelines will be used to identify appropriate candidates for the Recovery Court Program:  
1.  Level of Supervision (LSI) score of 27 or greater and an assessed treatment level of 4 or greater; first felony conviction with second probation revocation or second felony conviction with first probation revocation;
2. Voluntarily agrees to participate in Recovery Court and is in the contemplative stage to address and change chemical dependence issues; 
3. Is a resident of the Denver Metro area and is able to attend all court dates and fulfill treatment requirements;
4. Ability to begin the program within 90 days of sentencing to Recovery Court;
5. Pending sentencing on a new felony case;
6. Adult probation violation where revocation is pending or filed; 
7. Behavioral Health treatment issues do not exceed the capabilities of the Recovery Court program and client does not exhibit serious, persistent mental health issues that cannot be stabilized through mental health treatment and appropriate use of psychotropic medications. If the client exhibits serious persistent mental health issues, he/she will be referred for mental health treatment and a medication evaluation.
8. Client is able to participate and complete all of the requirements of the Recovery Court program, including legal and verifiable employment. If there is a documented disability preventing employment this requirement will be waived.
9. Client does not have a criminal history, treatment diagnosis or correctional performance which demonstrates a history of chronic violent behavior that creates a safety risk for the Recovery Court;    
10. Participant does not have a current or previous conviction or deferred sentence for any of the following:
    a)  Drug manufacturing, sale, distribution, or possession of a controlled substance with an intention to sell;
    b)  Crimes involving serious bodily injury or death; and charged or convicted as a Special
              Offender under C.R.S. 18-18-407;
    c)  Crimes where the facts involve a sex-related criminal offense; 
         i. Offenders with prior sex-related offenses, such as juvenile adjudications,  which do not require offense specific treatment may be evaluated on an individual basis,
    d)  Crimes involving use, possession or threatened use of a firearm or deadly weapon;
    ** These cases may be evaluated on an individual basis.  Each case involving these or related prior offenses may be evaluated by the entire Recovery Court team at the request of the District Attorney, but is not mandated.
11.  Participant is not on parole and is probation eligible;
12. Participants must be willing to abstain from the use of all illicit substances and non-Recovery Court approved medication. Physician prescribed and appropriately monitored Medically Assisted Treatment is approved. 

Entry Process

Eligible offenders will be referred for screening by either the Court or the Investigating Probation Officer on a new felony case or by the supervising officer if under probation revocation.

1. Participant signs Recovery Court release of information.
2. Supervising or Investigating PO completes specialized programs screening form.
3. PO submits case to screening committee.
4. Results from the screening committee will be forwarded to the Court and PO.
5. The sentencing Judge can refer Participant to Division 4 to be sentenced to Recovery Court.
6. PO or Coordinator advises Participant of requirements and expectations of the Recovery Court  program and provides Recovery Court handbook to the Participant. 

For more information, contact the Recovery Court coordinator, Tara Rienow.
Phone (720)772-2685

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