Pueblo, Colorado’s 10th Judicial District Behavioral Health Treatment Court/Veterans Treatment Court (BHTC/VTC) currently serve 40 adults per year with significant mental health disorders; 92% also have a primary diagnosis of substance abuse disorder (SUD). The BHTC/VTC SUD Expansion ensures that an additional 15 adults per year (75 total) will be diverted from the criminal justice system to community-based intensive SUD treatment and wraparound services.
Opioids, particularly heroin, fuel Pueblo’s identification as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the state’s highest heroin/opioid criminal offense rates. Data from the BHTC/VTC indicate 34.3% of program referrals had a primary SUD diagnosis of Opiate Use Disorder; alcohol, methamphetamine, and marijuana trail at 24.6%, 22.9%, and 13.7% respectively. Lack of 10th Judicial District (10th JD) budgetary resources constrain hiring additional judicial and probation staff despite demonstrated BHTC/VTC need and effectiveness. Therefore, BHTC/VTC SUD Expansion Services will serve 15 new adults with a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder or SUD and significant mental health disorder, who are accused of a felony and whose SUD contributed to their criminality.
The BHTC/VTC Expansion goal is to increase access to effective treatment alternatives to incarceration for offenders whose SUD actively contributes to their current criminal charges.
Objective 1: During the grant period, the 10th JD BHTC/VTC will accept and serve at least 15 new offenders
annually who have a primary SUD diagnosis (n=75 by the end of year 5).
Objective 2: Throughout the grant period, residential treatment slots for SUD detoxification and/or co-
occurring disorder stabilization will be available for BHTC/VTC Expansion participants.
Objective 3: By January 2019, peer recovery support services using 2-4 trained and certified SUD peers, will
be available for BHTC/VTC SUD Expansion participants.
To improve program engagement and completion, participants will complete residential or intensive outpatient detoxification. Participants actively engage in designing personal goals and prioritizing supportive services. Support for sobriety incorporate therapeutic treatment, medication-assisted therapy, and appropriate substance use testing. Relapse prevention includes individually designed wraparound services through a highly trained Case Manager and Peer Recovery Support Services coaches. Frequent court reviews of sobriety, court and therapeutic attendance, and drug testing give the BHTC/VTC Team the opportunity to respond quickly to participant behaviors using a collaborative, problem-solving approach including the use of incentives and sanctions. Program participation is voluntary.