Chief Bucks County Adult Probation Officer Sean Ryan says the county’s year-old Drug Court is working very well. He says it stresses treatment and recovery rather than punishment for non-violent offenders with addiction problems, and it requires intensive supervision including weekly contact with a judge.
“In Drug Court you not only have to tell a probation officer what you have done or haven’t done, but you have to appear in front of the Drug Court judge and explain exactly what you have done. There have been a lot of studies on drug courts, and they have found that the contact with the judge is very beneficial to the process.”
Ryan says an offender who is sentenced in regular court might see the judge once more, if at all, and weekly contact makes a big difference. He says there are people in Drug Court who he never thought would succeed, based on their records, but they are still in the program and complying with all of its many rules and regulations.