Dutchess County launches opioid diversion court

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BEACON – A specialized part in Beacon City Court tailored to eligible offenders at high risk of opioid overdose, providing the at-risk population immediate access to community-based resources, has been launched.

The program will offer lifesaving treatment and support services.

The Beacon Recovery Court is a pre-plea diversion program targeting nonviolent offenders with a substance use disorder who live in Dutchess County and are willing to engage in treatment and comply with the terms of the court’s recovery program.

Persons charged with or who have a criminal history of assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, a crime against a child, arson, violent felonies, criminal sale of a controlled substance or criminal contempt are ineligible for participation.

Eligible defendants who opt to undergo screening and are found to be at high risk will have the case proceed in the Beacon Recovery Court and admitted into judicially monitored treatment with the district attorney suspending prosecution of the case during the stabilization process.

Participants who comply with the court’s requirements, which include meaningful engagement with services designed to address their substance use disorder, will have the case dismissed and sealed, or in some instances, will receive an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.

The new court is a collaboration of the State Court System, Dutchess Cunty DA William Grady’s Office, the local defense bar and other justice system partners and stakeholders.