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About Us

Description

The Adult Drug Pretrial Intervention Court allows first-time drug offenders the opportunity to avoid having a felony conviction on their record.   

After completing a background check, the defendant signs a contract in which he or she agrees to complete a drug treatment program and the State Attorney's Office agrees to drop the charges upon completion of that program.


History
The first drug court in Tampa, the Pre-Trial Intervention Drug Court, was developed and implemented under the direction of Chief Judge F. Dennis Alvarez. Attached is a copy of Administrative Order 92-89 creating the Drug Court. The first court session was held June 22, 1992, with Judge Alvarez as the presiding judge. At this time the drug court movement was still new in the country and funds were not available from either the state or local sources for such a program. However, through the work and dedication of Judge Alvarez, and without a funding source, the PTI Drug Court began with that first court admitting 3 defendants into treatment.

By mid 1993 the program had grown to 100 defendants. In 1996 the cap, for the major treatment provider, was raised to 200 and in 1997 raised again to 225. The cap was again raised in 2000 to 250 where it remains today. However, the Program has never had to turn anyone away for not having treatment space. The Court has been able to utilize more than just this first provider, in times when the census has reached the capacity for their agency.

Up through October 1995 the court operated the program with existing personnel and without receiving additional funds. In October 1995, a Drug Court Coordinator position was added through a Department of Justice, Bureau of Community Assistance (Byrne) Grant administered by the Office of the State Courts Administrator.

The Department of Corrections assigned one part-time Pre-Trial Intervention Probation Officer to the program in 1992. By mid 1993 a second officer was added, both working full time for the Drug Court Program. A third officer was added in 1994, plus a Spanish speaking officer was assigned to handle the Spanish speaking cases. Presently there are four full time probation officers assigned to the drug court, plus a Spanish speaking officer.

Since the beginning of the program, the treatment has been provided by DACCO, (Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office, Inc.) Other agencies are regularly utilized for specialized treatment: PAR, Phoenix House, ACTS, Westcare, Avon Park and Crossroads for Residential Programs.

Chief Judge Alvarez presided over this court until June 1994 when the responsibilities transferred to Judge Donald C. Evans. Judge Evans ran the Pre-Trial Intervention Drug Court for three years until May 1997, when Judge Alvarez again resumed the responsibilities for the Pre-Trial Intervention Drug Court. Judge Jack Espinosa, Jr., assumed responsibilities for the Pre-Trial Intervention Drug Court in May 2000. Judge Vivian T. Corvo, assumed responsibilities for the Pre-Trial Intervention Drug Court in March 2005. The current presiding judge, Judge Jack Espinosa, Jr.


Performance Measures

None at this time.