The Mission of the Comal County Accountability Court is to increase Public Safety by giving participants the tools they need to enable them to be sober, law-abiding members of society while holding them accountable for their actions, as they learn to be responsible for themselves.
The purpose of the Comal County Accountability Court is to enhance public safety by providing a judicially supervised regimen of treatment to substance dependent offenders convicted of DWI.
The goal of the program is to give participants the tools to enable them to be sober, law abiding members of society while holding them accountable for their actions.
Entry into the Accountability Court is post-judgment, and is subject to the approval by the Accountability Court Team. Participants must be screened and evaluated before being accepted into the program. The participants must have been convicted of a 2nd DWI, or have special circumstances that warrant inclusion in the program.
DWI COURT TEAM
The Accountability Court Team consists of representatives from all aspects of the criminal justice system, including the Court and support staff, Adult Probation, the Criminal Defense Bar, the District Attorney’s Office, and Law enforcement.
COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM
Once a participant is eligible for the Accountability Court Program, they must sign a Participant Contract and agree to abide by all the terms and conditions of the program. These terms include:
- Attend mandatory Court hearings.
- Visits by the probation officer at the participant’s home and work.
- Intensive treatment and counseling, which may include medication.
- Frequent alcohol testing to ensure compliance.
- SCRAM and INTERLOCK (alcohol detection and monitoring devices) used to change behavior.
- Sanctions to be imposed immediately, rather than months or years later.
The treatment program is client driven, and is approximately 12-15 months long, followed by after-care. There are three 12-16 week long phases to the program.
- PHASE ONE includes weekly Court hearings, SCRAM device, meetings with adult probation and counseling and treatment as recommended by the Accountability Court Team.
- PHASE TWO has bi-weekly Court hearings, and the participant no longer wears the SCRAM device. Meetings with adult probation continue, as well as any recommended treatment.
- PHASE THREE has even fewer Court hearings while the participant transitions to not being supervised. Meetings with probation and treatment continue until the participant graduates.
INCENTIVES FOR PARTICIPANTS
- Suspension or reduction of jail time;
- Suspension or reduction of Court fines;
- Eligibility for an Occupational License;
- Reduction of reporting as participant advances through the phases;
- Small incentives (i.e. candy, cookies, movie passes) for meeting weekly goals;
- Graduation Ceremony to recognize successful completion of the program;
- and… The opportunity to change one’s life through intensive treatment, counseling and support.