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2018 News

Bucks County Announces the Creation of the District Court Diversionary Program

July 12, 2018

For Immediate Release from the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas

The Bucks County Court of Common Pleas and the Magisterial District Courts, the Office of the District Attorney, the Bucks County Department of Human Services and the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. have partnered together to create a program to address the abuse of opioids and other drugs plaguing our society by offering the opportunity for offenders to receive treatment at the earliest point in our criminal justice system.  The District Court Diversionary Program (“DCDP”) will provide immediate treatment to participants by removing barriers, such as funding and transportation, while saving the justice system money.

Effective July 1, 2018, Magisterial District Judges will refer all Bucks County residents charged with specified misdemeanor drug offenses to the Office of the District Attorney for possible diversion for treatment.  Participants’ eligibility will be determined based on their prior records.  Participants accepted into the program will be required to have an immediate drug and alcohol assessment and abide by any recommendations.  The Courts and the District Attorney’s Office will monitor all participants’ progress. Their cases will be continued for 90 days to 6 months to ensure consistent compliance with treatment.

Upon the participant’s successful completion of all the mandated conditions, the participant will have the criminal charges dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge.  Some participants may be eligible for expungement.  Participants who fail to complete the program will proceed through the normal criminal case process in the Court of Common Pleas.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub staunchly supports this new program.  Weintraub said, “Public protection remains my number one priority.  Given that the majority of crimes we prosecute are drug or alcohol fueled, it’s imperative for the justice system to address offenders’ addictions at the earliest possible opportunity.  This program does exactly that for all offenders who qualify, and who want help for their addiction.”

Director of Housing and Human Services Jonathan Rubin said, “We appreciate this partnership approach with the Courts, Law Enforcement, and the Drug and Alcohol Commission as we build community solutions through innovation and a focus on prevention and healthy supports.”

Common Pleas Judge Rea B. Boylan will oversee this new diversion program on behalf of this court.  Judge Boylan has a great deal of experience in what is generally known as specialty courts, having helped develop and oversee the drug court and community accountability programs operated by the Common Pleas Court in the Justice Center.  President Judge Jeffrey L. Finley believes that Judge Boylan, together with District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, and the Magisterial District Judges working in conjunction with county and private agencies will provide an extremely valuable service to the community, reduce crime and perhaps save lives.