Commonwealth’s Attorney Announces Start of Virginia Beach Drug Treatment Court

Monday, September 18, 2017

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announces the formation of Drug Treatment Court in the Circuit Court of Virginia Beach.  The Virginia Beach Drug Treatment Court (VBDTC) screening process began June 1, 2017, and it will commence as soon as suitable defendants are arrested, recommended for entry, and agree to be part of the program.  Up to ten (10) offenders will be selected to start the program at any given time, and additional offenders may enter the program when a member graduates or is terminated.  The thorough planning process began in April 2016 when the VBDTC was approved, and it included the following Virginia Beach agencies:  Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Circuit Court (with the guidance of Judge Steven Frucci), Probation and Parole, Community Corrections, Department of Human Services, Public Defender's Office, Police Department, Sheriff's Office and City Attorney's Office.

The goal of VBDTC is to rehabilitate non-violent drug offenders and addicts and provide them with an alternative to prison in order to change their long-term behavior.  In order to qualify for the program, offenders must reside in Virginia Beach, may not have a violent criminal history, may not have any prior convictions for Possession with Intent to Distribute drugs, and must have a previously suspended jail or prison sentence in excess of 12 months. 

The selection process begins when an offender violates terms of his or her probation by testing positive for an illegal substance.  Offenders may not be referred to the VBDTC if the basis for their probation violation is a new criminal charge. Once Probation and Parole determines an offender is qualified for the program, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office does an additional screening.  The offender is then evaluated by the Drug Court Team, which is comprised of the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Probation and Parole, Department of Human Services, and Circuit Court.

The VBDTC involves several phases which have specific requirements for advancement.  Incentives and sanctions are imposed when necessary.  Offenders will attend the VBDTC Docket in Circuit Court every Thursday at 2 p.m., will report daily to their treatment provider, must maintain employment, complete community service, must complete homework, may not reside with other drug users, and will undergo frequent random drug testing.  A positive drug screen or violation of a condition of the program can result in a variety of sanctions, including community service, jail time, or expulsion from the program.   

"Drug addictions are very difficult to overcome," Stolle said.  "The VBDTC is designed to be easy to get in and hard to get out.  We hope to equip these offenders with the resources they need to kick their habits and change their entire lifestyle."​

Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.

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