PAST is an acronym for Post-Adjudication Supervision and Treatment. The PAST program is based on the drug court model and is an initiative created and administered by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Circuit Court and District Court Judges, and Kent County Behavior Health. It serves an alternative to the standard incarceration and probation model and provides increased levels of treatment and more direct supervision. Participants are first screened by the State’s Attorney’s Office, where we seek to find individuals charged with non-violent offenses and minor criminal records, who have both demonstrable substance abuse issues and a sincere desire to address those issues. Those candidates are then evaluated by Kent County Behavior Heath to determine if they are amenable to treatment.
After entering a guilty plea, sentencing is postponed and each case is reviewed at least once a month for a minimum of one year. In addition to treatment, the judge can also require the participants to attend self-help meeting, participate in mental health counseling, perform community service, or any other conditions they deem appropriate. If the individual successfully completes the program, the case is dismissed and they have no conviction on their record. However, should they not comply with the terms and conditions of the program, the court can impose sanctions which run the gamut from increased treatment to incarceration. If a participant is terminated from the program, the case reverts to the sentencing phase.