Building Connections to Recovery

DC4 – The Drug Court Program (new home page)

Building Connections to Recovery

“An important part of the drug court concept is that the judge is hands on and knowledgeable about each individual participant… because the resident knows that the judge understands what he or she is going through and is making sanctions or is giving encouragement that is individualized.”

Judge Jennifer Smith – Davidson County Drug Court

A First of its Kind Residential Court

Initially, it was believed that an outpatient program would be the most feasible for Davidson County. However, because most program participants were on some type of release in the community, e.g., probation, community corrections, etc., it was determined that Court should be held after normal working hours. A Drug Court docket was set up to convene every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The decision to hold court after business hours proved to be effective, and it became immediately apparent that the people placed in the program could succeed if they were monitored closely. After running the program for a period of time, it was determined that individuals who were high-risk and high-needs were not subject to any kind of release into the community and an option for a longer, more intense program was needed. At the time, the idea for a residential drug court had not been heard of, and Davidson County Adult Residential Adult Drug Court (DC4) became the first of its kind in the country.

In 1995, the Honorable Judge Seth Norman (ret.) became aware of a program called “drug court” that was attempting to combat the lack of treatment for chemically dependent offenders.

In an effort to increase the treatment opportunities for those entangled in the criminal justice system, Judge Norman began work on an application for a grant to determine the value of such a program for Davidson County. In the same year, the study grant was approved by the Department of Justice and the development of the program began.

This facility can house (X) men and (X) women for long-term treatment for their substance use and co-occurring disorders. Currently referred to as the Davidson County Residential Recovery Court (DC4), the program accepts referrals from both Davidson County and other jurisdictions across the state. The ability for other Tennessee Recovery Courts to refer individuals to DC4 for long-term residential treatment has allowed for improved outcomes statewide through decreased substance use, increased family reunification, and (INSERT).

Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown cityscape at dusk.