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A Treatment Court Program Is Saving Lives in North Carolina

Success Spotlight

The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Adult Treatment Court Program provides funds to help jurisdictions plan, implement, and enhance treatment court services. Treatment courts integrate evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, incentives and sanctions, and transitional services in a judicially supervised setting to reduce recidivism, improve access to treatment and recovery support, and prevent overdoses.

North Carolina’s 9th Judicial District received a fiscal year 2022 BJA grant to plan and implement a post-conviction Adult Accountability and Recovery Court (AARC) that operates through a unique partnership among the justice system, treatment programs, and community resources. The goal of the AARC program is to address inequities in the justice system and barriers to service for underserved and marginalized communities in Wayne, Greene, and Lenoir counties—a rural area that is among the most economically distressed in the state. 

For adults facing criminal charges influenced by substance use, AARC provides an array of services to meet individual treatment needs. Participants enter the program voluntarily and, if they are accepted after prescreening, receive access to free treatment, peer support, educational and vocational programs, family support, art classes, and other resources to support their recovery. 

Program Successes 

“This program is truly saving lives,” says AARC Administrator Colleen Kosinski. “In our first year, we had the goal of serving 25 individuals, and we reached that goal. Participants who graduate from this 18-month program will have their charges dismissed and expunged from their record. Additionally, they do not have to pay for treatment, testing, attorney fees, probation fees, or court costs. We consider this a true program of second chances.” 

The program recently used a creative approach to community outreach—a mural created by a local artist to show the beauty in recovery. A QR code on the mural links to information about AARC and other substance use recovery resources. The mural in Lenoir County was completed at the end of 2023, and the coalition has plans to implement murals in Wayne and Greene counties as well. 

To learn more about AARC, visit www.recoverytogetherenc.com/aarc.

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Date Published: February 26, 2024