We have included basic Manatee County Drug Court Information that you will need to know to be successful while in Drug Court. If you have any questions, please ask your primary counselor or our Office Manager. It is also good to know that some rules and practices change from time to time.
Welcome to the Manatee County Drug Court. This handbook is designed to answer questions you may have and to help guide you through the Drug Court Process. The Drug Court Staff understands that you may be somewhat unsure about your decision, but we are here to help you successfully reach your goal.
You have been offered Drug Court because you have been arrested and your criminal behavior has been determined to be drug related, in other words, you have substance abuse problem, and it is contributing to your criminal behavior.
The purpose of Drug Court is to provide judicial supervision while giving you an opportunity to receive treatment for your substance abusive behavior. In essence, the Drug Court program is designed to help you obtain a crime-free and drug-free lifestyle.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with an overview of the program, its rules, goals, and expectations. If there is anything you do not understand or have questions about, do not be afraid to ask a Drug Court staff person for clarification.
As a Drug Court participant, you will be expected to follow the instructions given by the Drug Court Judge and the Drug Court Treatment team.
Welcome to the Manatee County Drug Court and we wish you all the best.
The Manatee County Drug Court is a four-phase intervention program for substance abusive adults who have committed non-violent felony or misdemeanor crimes. Your participation in the Drug Court is completely voluntary and only you will determine whether you are successful.
Each phase of the Drug Court is designed to help you confront and overcome various obstacles in your treatment. As you move up in phases, your program requirements will be less, but your personal requirements will increase. Throughout all phases, two requirements remain constant: to be crime free and drug free, these are two non-negotiables in the program.
The Manatee County Drug Court is designed to be completed in one (1) year, but this time may be prolonged due to lack of progress in the program. Drug Court participants will be required to reach certain milestones to move from one phase to another, these requirements will be reviewed by you and your assigned primary counselor. Once you have reached certain milestones, it is important that you maintain these milestones so that you do not add time to your stay in Drug Court.
Drug Court is a hybrid or combination of judicial supervision and treatment. As a result, you will be required to report before the court on a regularly scheduled basis while also participating in treatment. It is important that you talk with your primary counselor to schedule all your appointments to include group treatment, AA/NA meetings, 1:1 treatment, urine testing, as well as court sessions. Completion of these responsibilities will result in you maintaining your freedom as well as your progression through the program.
Drug Court participants who complete all scheduled requirements will be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done. In addition to this, those who are in Phase II will become a part of the “B” Team, while those in Phases III and above will be placed on the “A” Team. The A and B teams are called up first during the court session and are allowed to leave prior to the end of the court session. Those who are first time “A” Team will also receive a waiver of their Drug Court fees for the month. Drug Court participants who do not fulfill all scheduled program requirements may receive a sanction. Sanctions may range from extra groups, meetings, or urine tests to community services, or jail.
When you enter into Drug Court, you will be assigned a primary counselor. Your primary counselor is your “go to” person. This is the person who will make recommendations to the Drug Court Team regarding your progress in the program. Your primary counselor will schedule individual one-to-one treatment sessions where you will discuss issues related to your substance abusing behavior. You will also be provided with a schedule of activities and requirements; it is your responsibility to plan and complete all required program activities. It is very important for you to call our office if you are having problems completing your requirements. This may not keep you from receiving a sanction, but your cooperation will be taken into consideration.
Drug testing is a key component of Drug Court, and you will be required to provide urine samples every Monday and then be required to call in the rest of the week to determine if your number has been called. If your number is called that day, you will be required to come in and provide a urine sample. Failure to report will be viewed as an unexcused drop and will be treated as a positive urine sample. Once again, if you have unforeseen problems, do not hesitate to call us to let us know. As previously stated, calling in does not relieve one of his or her duties, but it will be taken into consideration if any sanctions are given.
In addition to drug testing, substance abuse counseling is also a key component in the Drug Court process. Groups are held at various times during the day to provide participants with opportunities to complete their requirements. It is your responsibility to find out which group best fits your schedule.
Welcome to the Manatee County Drug Court Program. This program is designed to assist non-violent substance abusers that are charged with one or more specific felonies or misdemeanors. Drug Court Hearings are held once a week in Courtroom 2A, in the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Florida. Participants are required to attend court every week without fail until they advance to Phase 2 of the program. Court is held on the following days and times at the locations listed below.
Every Thursday at 10 AM in Courtroom 2A, on the second floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205. Currently court hearings are on Zoom, Judge is in 8B.
By the time you are given this instruction sheet you should have already been told when and where to report to start in the Drug Court Program. Call one of the following Drug Court Administration or Supervision Staff to confirm the details of your appointment as soon as you arrive home and continue making the effort to contact them until you have actually spoken to one of them. On some occasions, there may be a need to reschedule your orientation appointment.
1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
941‑749‑3670; Fax 941-749-3694
941-749-3600, ext. 7070; Fax 941-749-3694
941-749-3600, ext. 1790; Fax 941-749-3694
941-749-3600, ext. 7912; Fax 941-749-3694
941-749-3600, ext. 7072; Fax 941-749-3694
399 Sixth Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
941‑741‑3066; Fax: 941-741-3073
Drop Line: 941‑749‑3666
You should become well acquainted with your treatment counselors. It is very important for participants to show up drug and alcohol free. You will be tested frequently.
Centersone of Florida
941-749-3600, ext. 7068; Fax 941-742-5680
Centerstone of Florida
941-749-3600, ext. 7913; Fax 941-742-5680
The following are terms commonly used by people in the Drug Court Program. Some of you have never heard many of the terms or may recognize them in a different setting. The purpose of this section is to help you understand some of the words used and understand many of the required activities of the program. If you have any questions, please contact a Drug Court staff for clarification.
Case Management: Case management is when Drug Court staff works to make sure you get services you need besides group and individual sessions in Drug Court. Case management includes things such as housing, employment, education, anger management, and other services which the Drug Court does not directly provide but is understood to help you succeed not only in Drug Court, but in life. Our Case Manager will work with your primary counselor or other Drug Court staff in obtaining these services if available.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality refers to not talking about program issues outside of the Drug Court setting. This means if you hear someone say something in a group setting about an issue they have, you cannot discuss this outside of the Drug Court. It simply means what happens in Drug Court, stays in Drug Court.
Counseling: Counseling occurs when you talk about your problems or issues related to your substance abusing behavior. Counseling may happen in group or one-on-one with your primary counselor. In each phase, you will be required to attend a certain amount of counseling groups and one-on-ones. Your primary Counselor is the person you are assigned to discuss issues with during your participation in the program.
Fees: Fees are the costs you pay to participate in the Drug Court. Each participant in Drug Court pays $10 per week to participate in the Manatee County Drug Court. Payments are made to the Clerk of the Court. You may need a photo ID and may pay in the form of check, cash, money order, or credit card. You are to turn in your receipt to the Drug Court Office Manager by Monday of each week. Participants may perform public service hours in lieu of payment at a rate of $10 an hour.
Groups: Groups are when two or more people meet with a counselor or therapist to discuss issues related to their substance abusing behavior. Issues may include family, career, education, free time, etc. In each phase, each participant is required to perform a certain number of groups each week.
Medical Professionals: the Manatee County Drug Court utilizes contracted medical professionals such as Nurse Practitioners, Resident Physicians, or Physician Assistants to provide mental health and other non-emergency services to program participants. These professionals diagnose certain psychological disorders as well as provide medication to treat these disorders. They may also refer the participant to a specialist to receive more specific treatment. Participants will be required to see the current medical professional if the Drug Court staff determines the participant has medical or psychological issues which need immediate attention.
Phases: Phases are the different levels a person goes through in the program. There are 4 phases in the Manatee County Drug Court. Each phase has certain things a person must do to move from one level to the next and finally graduate from the program. As you move up in phases, many of the requirements decrease.
Probation: Probation is a form of legal supervision where a person who has committed a crime is allowed to continue to live in the community while being supervised by an Officer of the Department of Corrections. While on probation there are certain restrictions placed upon the person which the Officer will go over with you. If you break or violate any of these restrictions, you may be violated and placed in jail. Your Probation Officer (PO) will go over all requirements with you during your first visit with her or him.
Public Defender’s Office: The Public Defender’s Office (PD) provides legal representation to people who are unable to pay for a private lawyer. Many Drug Court participants are represented by the PD’s Office. If you are unsure if you are represented by the PD’s Office, please discuss this issue with the Drug Court Judge to make sure you are represented legally.
Public Service: Public service is when you work at a local non-profit to complete certain program requirements. Public service may be used as a sanction and an incentive. As a sanction, it may be assigned due to not completing certain phase requirements or the failure to complete other phase requirements. As an incentive, it may be assigned to help a person pay their fees in the event of the loss of a job or inability to pay.
Recovery Meetings: Recovery meetings, also known as self-help or AA/NA meetings are held at various locations in the community. All Drug Court participants are required to attend 4 meetings per week, also known as outside meetings. You may choose the meeting which works best for you. This is also where you will find your sponsor for the program.
Relapse Group: Relapse group is as specialized group for Drug Court Participants who have a positive urine test. Participants are required to attend 4 relapse groups for positive urine tests whether he or she receives a jail sanction. If you test positive and are sanctioned by the Judge to do 4 relapse groups and you test positive while on the third relapse group, you will be required to perform 4 more relapse groups.
Sanctions: A sanction is an action the Judge takes in relation to your progress or lack of progress in the Drug Court Program. If a person tests positive on a urine test, the sanction may include public service, jail, or some other type of act. The idea is that a sanction is in response to your progress in the program.
Sponsor: A sponsor is someone in recovery from drugs and or alcohol abuse or addiction and has at least 2 years “clean” time. The sponsor is someone you meet at a recovery group who agrees to help you when you are having problems keeping away from drugs or alcohol. Your sponsor must call the Drug Court program to let us know he or she has agreed to work with you. Your sponsor must be the same gender (sex) as you are.
Some of the information in this section can be found in other sections of this handbook, but this information is so important, we want you to be able to quickly access it so that you will know what to do in the event you are prescribed or use certain valid medications.
It is important that you tell us when you are prescribed any medications by your Dr. or when you are taking any over the counter medication. Following this rule helps us to gauge your willingness to receive treatment and will also help us not to assign a positive to a urine sample that you submit.
Illegal drugs are not permitted and are not to be taken by any Drug Court participant. This includes drugs such as cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs that are not yours, marijuana, etc.
Alcohol, while legal, is not allowed to be consumed by Drug Court participants. Use of alcohol violates Drug Court program rules and you will be sanctioned for its use.
Psychiatric medications are allowed, but you must see our contracted Medical Staff to ensure you are taking your medication properly. The Medical Staff will be able to answer any questions you have about your medications and possible side effects and may also be able to offer a more affordable alternative.
Other prescribed medications, such blood pressure medication, antibiotics and such are allowed, but once again, it is important that you provide us with a copy of your most recent prescription so that we are aware that you are taking these medications.
Over the counter medications are allowed, but the rules are the same for these medications as with other types of medications. It should also be noted, the use of over the counter medications are for short-term use not long-term. If you have persistent symptoms, we recommend you see a Dr. or the Medical Staff for a more complete diagnosis.
Graduation and Prescribed Narcotics: Drug Court participants shall not be allowed to graduate while on narcotics other than Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT). While the Drug Court recognizes there are times when a physician may prescribe narcotics to their patients, the goal of Drug Court is to help you learn how to function without dependence upon drugs and alcohol. In light of this philosophy, if you receive a prescription for narcotic medication within 90 days of your graduation, you must have at least 30 days of clean time prior to graduating from the Drug Court. The risk for abuse of narcotics is too great of a risk for the program to allow you to leave while utilizing these medications. It is imperative that you request a non-narcotic alternative when you visit your doctor.
Please see section titled, Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) Policy
Drug Court Participants who use opioid medications to combat their addiction to opiates are to follow an established procedure as provided within the Manatee County Drug Court policies and procedures.
Minimum of 30 days
Minimum of 90 days
Minimum of 180 days
Minimum of 60 days
The following rules and regulations will apply to all persons involved in the Manatee County Treatment Court Programs.
Clients are responsible for:
You will be required to provide urine samples multiple times during the week to include the weekends. You will be assigned a number and you will need to call daily to determine if your number is chosen for urine testing for that day. 941‑749‑3666
It is your responsibility to arrive on time to provide a urine sample for testing on the day your number is chosen. If an emergency arises, you are responsible to call this office in order to make other arrangements. Only your counselor or the Program Director can excuse you; you need to start with your counselor first. If your counselor is not available, then you shall speak to the Program Director to be excused or allowed to provide a sample later.
When arriving to provide a urine sample, you are notify staff in the lab. You are not to enter the bathroom prior to a staff member assisting you. If the lab door is closed, remain in the lobby seating area and someone will assist you upon their return.
Prior to providing your sample, you shall be provided with a cup. It is your responsibility to check the cup to ensure your name, ID number, and proper date is on the cup. Once this information is verified, you will initial the label to indicate you have checked the label.
When entering the appropriate bathroom (male/female) to provide a urine sample, you are not to take anything into the bathroom besides basic clothing. There are to be no coats, purses, or bulky clothing items taken into the bathroom.
All urine samples will be monitored by staff. You are to stand or sit in a manner in which staff can clearly observe the sample entering the specimen cup.
Once you arrive to provide a urine sample, you are to follow the directions of the lab staff until you have provided a valid sample. Failure to remain until you have provided a valid sample may result in you receiving a “Positive” urine screen.
If the court thinks you are falsifying your urine samples or tampering with another participant’s sample, you may be subject to a severe sanction or termination from the program.
It is your responsibility to notify the lab tech of any medications you have been prescribed prior to you providing a urine sample, failure to do so may result in a sanction due to the outcome of the test.
Participants have the right to contest positive samples by sending them out to an independent laboratory at the participant’s cost. Samples that return positive shall incur a sanction double the original proposed sanction.
Please review this packet from time to time, it can help you progress through the program and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member to answer any of your questions. You must also remember, the program changes from time to time, so this is a guide to help you understand the basics of the program. Some things never change, however, such as making sure you complete all program requirements and testing negative on your urine samples.
The staff of the Manatee County Drug Court wishes you much success on your time in Drug Court and in your life. It is our hope that you will use Drug Court as an opportunity to truly turn your life around and not simply go through the motions to get charges dismissed. While that is your right, the fact that you are in a Court Intervention Program suggests that you may have some serious issues to confront in your life and that is why Drug Court exists, to help you become crime free and drug free and to return to society as one who is making a contribution and not as one who causes harm.
Thursdays, 10 AM and 2 PM
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 7am – 6pm
Must be here by 5pm to participate in final group of the day.
Tuesday: 7am – 7pm
Must be here by 6pm to participate in final group of the day.
Thursday: 7am – 7pm
Must be here by 5:30pm to participate in final group of the day.
Monday-Friday: 7am – 5pm
Must arrive at office by 4:30pm
Saturday-Sunday: 7:30am – 8:30am
Must exit office by 8:45am