In Addiction Counseling, Clearbrook Treatment Centers Pennsylvania, Intervention, Sober Living

There are many reasons why someone would end up in a court-ordered rehab program. Often, people with drug or alcohol use disorders don’t seek treatment on their own. Many times, these individuals reach a point where their drug use or drinking habits endanger themselves or others. Others with drug addictions might find themselves in legal trouble, which can lead to court-ordered therapy for substance abuse through the criminal justice system.

What Is Court Ordered Rehab?

In cases, when drug or alcohol abuse is the cause of a person’s illegal activity, a judge mandates participation in a rehabilitation program as part of a court ruling. Court-mandated drug or alcohol treatment might take the place of prison time or might be a condition of release, parole, or probation.

Drugs and alcohol are often linked to criminal activity. Research indicates that 45.3% of inmates in the U.S. committed drug-related offenses. Studies also indicate that 85% of the prison population meet the criteria for substance use disorders or committed crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drug courts often try to help individuals with substance use disorders by placing them in a court-ordered drug treatment program rather than requiring them to serve jail time.

The goal of court-ordered rehab programs is to help people with substance use disorders who often find themselves in trouble with the law recover from their disorders and establish new lives for themselves. Court-mandated treatment strives to improve the person’s quality of life while reducing criminal activity in the community. Research continually shows that offering addiction treatment for criminal offenders reduces drug abuse in communities as well as criminal activity and criminal relapse.3

Who Pays for Court-Ordered Rehab?

The defendant pays for court-ordered treatment costs, but, usually, they can choose their treatment facility, and insurance or Medicaid covers at least a portion of the addiction services. Some addiction treatment programs may also receive state funding, charge patients based on their income, or offer payment plans for qualifying individuals to make payment possible.

Individuals in court-mandated drug rehabilitation can expect frequent drug tests, court appearances, and participation in long-term programs to sustain their sobriety long-term. Facilities help participants with employment opportunities, community service, education, support, and more.

Types of Court-Ordered Treatment

The type of court-ordered treatment program a criminal offense might be assigned to depends on the severity of their drug or alcohol use, the type of disorder they have, their insurance, and more. Common types of court-ordered treatment include:

  • Medical detox: Medically monitored detox might be required for certain offenders whose alcohol or drug use has resulted in life-threatening symptoms or consequences.
  • Residential/inpatient treatment: Court-ordered residential treatment or inpatient rehab is the highest level of care in treating both substance use and mental health disorders. It requires patients to live at the facility while receiving treatment. Medical, psychiatric, and behavioral health services and therapies are usually utilized in these programs.
  • Intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization: This is a structured program that may include day-time treatment sessions or part-time hospitalization treatment with a range of therapy programs to promote recovery. Unlike residential programs, PHP and IOP do not include overnight stays.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient is the least intensive form of care, during which participants can expect scheduled counseling sessions and behavioral health appointments with counselors and therapists to promote recovery and help them transition from treatment to a sober life outside of rehab. During outpatient treatment, participants can maintain work, home, and career obligations.

How Long Is Court-Ordered Rehab?

The duration of a court-mandated rehab program depends on the requirements of the individual. Those with more severe substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders might require longer programs than others. However, what is certain is that old patterns of thinking and behavior don’t change overnight, and building new skills for a sober lifestyle takes time.

So, not only do long-term treatment programs greatly benefit criminal offenders with court-ordered treatment, but long-term care also makes a difference in long-term recovery. Research shows that individuals who continue their care through peer support groups and counseling reduce their risk of relapse in both drug use and criminal activity.

How to Get Court-Ordered Rehab

Court-ordered rehab programs are usually selected by the court system, but the program the individual chooses also depends on their insurance and payment options. While some offenders are given recommendations, others are only able to select from a particular list of programs that meet their court-ordered requirements.

Court-ordered treatment can usually only be refused for other legal penalties. Treatment is usually recommended in place of jail time or might be a requirement for people on probation or parole.

Substance Abuse Treatment at Clearbrook

56% of people who complete court-mandated drug rehab report less drug use as opposed to 76% who did not receive treatment. Not only do the nearly 3,500 drug courts in the U.S. help more criminal offenders get and stay sober, mandated treatment actually saves the courts $5,680 to $6,208 per person.4

Those who are given the option of court-ordered treatment should choose a facility that meets their needs. This is a great opportunity to change the course of their lives.

If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, our Northeast recovery center can help. We offer drug and alcohol treatment in PA for various substance use disorders. From medical detox to aftercare services and family therapy, our Pennsylvania drug rehab offers everything you need to recover your sobriety.


For more information about our addiction services, call Clearbrook Treatment Center at 570-536-9621.



  1. Federal Bureau of Prisons – Inmate Offenses
  2. NIH – Criminal Justice DrugFacts
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse – Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations
  4. U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Courts


Related Reading:

How to Prevent Drug Abuse in a Community

In-Depth Guide on Heroin Track Marks

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