Opportunity & Accountability

Changing lives, one day at a time! This is the motto of our Manatee County Treatment Court. We believe this best describes what we do. This is said because no two days are the same, but everyday offers the opportunity for renewal. We believe by helping to change a person’s life we are also helping to change our community for the better by minimizing relapse and reducing recidivism.

The Manatee County Treatment Court is like a relative whose name every family member knows, but only a few have had any real interaction or knowledge of who they are.

It takes a team

What does it take to help change a life one day at a time? It requires a team of dedicated professionals, counselors, case managers, lab technicians, managers, and volunteers working together to ensure participants receive services that initiate change.

Our counselors work with our participants by delving into the most intimate areas of their lives in order to help them recognize and overcome those things which may hinder them from moving forward.

Our case managers fill in the gaps by helping to locate and provide ancillary services, such as housing, employment, various health services and much more for our participants to develop the stability they need to recover.

Our lab techs provide accountability by testing for banned substances in order to monitor substance use in our participants which helps the team to determine the best treatment protocol for our participants.

Our managers oversee the program and make global decisions affecting the entire program and ensure we are operating in accordance with the best practices.

Our program volunteers help with groups, mentoring, and a variety of other services with many of them being program graduates or former military veterans.

Our treatment team also works closely with the State Attorney, Public Defender, Department of Corrections, and our judge by providing each of these team members relevant information concerning a participant’s progress in the program in an effort to warrant the accountability our participants need for transformation.

Evolution in services

Scales of JusticeOur Treatment Court has evolved over time in order to serve a variety people caught in the criminal justice system for various reasons. What began as a stand-alone Drug Court now serves Veterans and people with primary mental-health diagnoses or co-occurring disorders as well as people with extensive criminal histories.

With the rotation of judges in our Treatment Courts the “flavor” of the Treatment Court changes with each judge; however, we work hard to continue to follow the 10 Key Components, and Best Practices provided by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).

Privilege to serve community

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our team, but we have circled the wagons and made necessary adjustments to keep our participants connected with the program as well as provide services through new and inventive methods. Even within this pandemic we still believe is it our privilege to serve our community and offer as many people within the criminal justice system an opportunity to change their lives, one day at a time.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? To learn more about Manatee County Treatment Court and other court programs, please visit our Programs page.

Meet the Team

The Leaders
Alfred James, Manager & June Mallett, Assistant Manager
The Leaders
The Game Changers
Tina Duell & TBD, Lab Technicians
The Game Changers
The Movers
Monica Baker-Brown & Deena Smith, Case Managers
The Movers
The Shakers
Kate Bozym (MA), Andrew Penn (BA) & Amanda Zephyrin (BA), Counselors
The Shakers

Best Practices of Adult Drug Court

Target Population
Staff evaluates candidates for admission to Drug Court using evidence-based assessment tools and procedures.
Equity and Inclusion
Individuals who have historically experienced sustained discrimination or reduced social opportunities receive the same opportunities as other individuals to participate and succeed in Drug Court.
Roles, Responsibilities of the Judge
The Drug Court judge stays abreast of current law and research on best practices in Drug Courts, participates in team meetings, and interacts frequently and respectfully with participants.
Incentives, Sanctions, and Therapeutic Adjustments
Consequences for participants’ behavior are predictable, fair, consistent, and administered in accordance with evidence-based principles of effective behavior modification.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment
Participants receive treatment based on their needs, and providers are trained and supervised to deliver and document services to participants.
Complementary Treatment and Social Services
Participants receive complementary treatment and social services to reduce interference with Drug Court compliance, decrease criminal recidivism, and increase treatment gains.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Drug and alcohol testing provides an accurate, timely, and comprehensive assessment of unauthorized substance use throughout participants’ enrollment in Drug Court.
Multidisciplinary Team
A dedicated multidisciplinary team of professionals manages the day-to-day operations of the Drug Court to review participant progress and deliver legal, treatment and supervision services.
Census and Caseloads
Drug Court serves as many eligible individuals as practicable while maintaining best practice standards
Monitoring and Evaluation
Drug Court routinely monitors its adherence to best practice standards and employs valid and reliable procedures to evaluate its effectiveness.