Missouri 2023 Lesson Summaries
2023 Lesson 8: Treatment Courts
This is an online technical studies course addressing treatment courts, prosecution diversion programs, and the fentanyl epidemic. The lesson explains the reasons treatment courts were created and describes their success. The lesson provides guidance to officers regarding their responsibilities and opportunities as those having earliest involvement and greatest familiarity with those individuals who might be good candidates for treatment court. The lesson explains officers’ ongoing responsibilities to the case before and during transfer to treatment court, including considerations and pitfalls in retaining access to participants’ health and treatment records, preserving their cases in the event the participant’s case returns to criminal court, and keeping the treatment court team informed of the participant’s progress or lack thereof. The lesson explains the difference between treatment courts and prosecution diversion programs, describes the procedures and elements of a diversion program and officers’ roles in these programs, and highlights opportunities officers have for assisting prosecutors in determining which cases are good candidates for diversion. The lesson also describes the current fentanyl epidemic, describes the forms and lethality of the drug, and explains precautions officers should take when encountering a scene where the drug may be present.