Nevada Court Records
What are Nevada Specialty Courts?
Nevada’s Specialty Courts exist to address issues that influence criminal activity in the state. These courts are referred to as the problem-solving courts and serve to help non-violent criminal offenders avoid recidivism. This is done by using a treatment model and the joint efforts of members of the judiciary, law enforcement, and organizations providing treatment, mental health, or social services. With this team, the courts support, monitor, and encourage participants in the specialty court programs. The mission of the specialty courts includes to:
- Reduce drug and alcohol-related crimes
- Attain healthier and positive communities
- Enhance public safety
- Reduce costs associated with the criminal justice system
- Improve the quality of life and productivity of participants
- Provide alternatives to incarceration and treatment for substance abuse offenders, or offenders with mental health problems
- Reduce the population in Nevada jails and prisons
- Increase the success of participants by assisting them in gaining life skills and improving their education
The first specialty court in Nevada was created in the early 1990s. This number has since grown. The specialty courts include, but are not limited to:
- Adult Drug Courts
- Juvenile Drug Courts
- Felony DUI Courts
- Veterans Courts
- Diversion Courts
- Medication-Assisted Treatment Courts
- Youth Offender Diversion Courts
- Prison Re-Entry Courts
- Family Drug Courts
- Family Mental Health Courts
- Habitual Offender Courts
- Child Support Treatment Courts
- OPEN Courts
Available specialty courts in the State of Nevada differ by judicial district and function. For example, the Washoe County Specialty Court (Second Judicial District Court) has nine court programs, namely: Adult Drug Court, Diversion Court, Family Treatment Court, Felony DUI Court, Medication-Assisted Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, Prison Re-Entry Court, Veterans Court, and Youth Offender Diversion Court programs. Whereas the Clark County Specialty Court (Eight Judicial District Court) also has nine programs, but somewhat different from the Second Judicial District Court. These programs include the Mental Health Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Felony DUI Court, Veterans Court, Family Dependency Court, Child Support Treatment Court, Co-Occurring Treatment Court, Gambling Treatment Court, Diversion Court, Dependency Mother’s Drug Court, and OPEN Court. Though the courts’ programs may differ, the result for graduating participants is the same across courts: successful participants either receive a reduction or dismissal of their criminal charges. The process of applying to the specialty court program is supervised by the Specialty Court Funding Committee and the policies, practices, and procedures of the specialty courts. The Committee is a branch of the Nevada Supreme Court.
Each specialty court has different eligibility criteria for admittance into a program. These criteria are established to target specific offender populations and determine qualified offenders. In every specialty court program, there is a problem-solving court team in charge of the program operations. Each team member is assigned specific duties, both program-related and related to the administration of the court. These duties include developing eligibility criteria, drafting handbooks and waivers for participants, supervising participants, and consulting with the specialty court judge on program matters, among other responsibilities. This team consists of the following parties:
- A judge
- Defense attorney
- Problem Solving Court Coordinator
- Probation officer
- Treatment provider
- Court personnel
Eligibility criteria in some of the specialty courts are as follows:
- Adult Drug Courts (ADC): This program admits offenders with substance abuse disorders and no history of sex offenses. As such, offenders who want to participate in the ADC program are required to have completed a PSI (Pre Sentence Investigation)
- Felony DUI Courts: caters to offenders with at least three DUI charges within seven years and substance use disorders. The program does not accept applicants convicted of felony DUIs.
- Co-occurring Disorders Courts: aids offenders with both mental health and substance use disorders (SUO)
- Prison Re-Entry Treatment Courts accepts offenders on parole or under NRS 209.4886, who have at least six months left on parole and have opioid use disorder.
- Mental Health Courts accept offenders with severe mental health illnesses, including Bipolar Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or Schizophrenia.
- Veterans Courts: admits only veterans or active US Military members with service-related mental health or substance abuse problems
- OPEN Program: For individuals aged 18 to 26 who have served a prison sentence. The program helps to reintegrate them into society and also assist with probationary supervision. It also offers aid for offenders with limited substance abuse and mental health problems.
- Gambling Treatment Diversion Courts serves individuals with gambling issues and other addictions.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment Courts (MAT): admits defendants who have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder and who are receiving medication-assisted treatment.
- Family Treatment Courts: created to establish safe and nurturing environments for children and treat substance abuse problems in parents, helping them achieve sobriety and maintain abstinence
The length of time the program takes from start to completion varies. The criteria for a defendant’s qualification and the fees for the programs may also differ.
The problem-solving courts are located across the state’s 11 judicial districts in both rural and urban areas. That is to say that there is a specialty court program available in the District Courts. Contact information, addresses, and websites of the District Courts may be found using the Find A Court feature located on the state’s judiciary website.