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Administrative Office of Courts
300 Dexter Ave.
Montgomery, Al 36104
1-866-954-9411
(334) 954-5000

Accountability Courts - Educational Programs

History of the Alabama Court Referral Programs

The Alabama Court Referral Program evolved from its beginnings in 1985 to its' present form. The original program was derived from the DWI Program in Phoenix, Arizona during the 1970's. There are 29 local Court Referral Programs, more than 100 certified Court Referral Officers (CROs) and more than 120 certified Level 1, Level 2, and Youth & Juvenile Instructors.


Educational Programs
  • Level 1

    The Level 1 Program is a minimum 12-hour presentation which includes an orientation to the court referral program, substance abuse, laws/consequences, alcohol/other drugs and their effects, and looking ahead. This class is designed for those defendants assessed by the CRO and determined not to have a substance abuse problem. Level 1 is restricted to no more than 35 students and the cost is $115.00.

  • Level 2

    The Level 2 component is a minimum 24-hour interactional program which relies heavily on defendant participation. This course is designed for those defendants determined to have a problem or presumed to have a problem with alcohol or other drugs of abuse. There are four mandatory self-help meetings which must be completed prior to the last session. In addition to covering the same information in Level 1, other areas presented include patterns of use, family and support systems, and coping skills. The cost of the Level 2 education program is $250.00. The class size is restricted to 15 students with one instructor or 18 students with two instructors

  • Youth & Juvenile

    The Youth & Juvenile education cirriculum is a 12-hour program for young persons age 21 and under who are involved in alcohol and drug-related crimes or who has been identified as high-risk youth. Offenders between the ages 18-20 may be assigned to adult Level 1 or 2 programs according to the CRO's discretion.

    The curriculum includes an orientation, physical, psychological, and sociological effects of alcohol and drugs, Alabama law relating to substance abuse offenses, addiction, coping skills, and community resources, exploring consequences, and conflict resolution. The class size is restricted to no more than 12 students and the cost is $115.00.

  • Level 3 (Treatment)

    A Level 3 referral is a referral to treatment. Most Level 3 referrals are sent to a community mental health center for a full assessment utilizing the DSM IV-R criteria. Defendants are then referred primarily to inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient programs(IOP).

    The Administrative Office of Courts approves treatment programs, both in the private and the public sector, which are certified by either the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation or the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO).

    Fees for treatment are based on a sliding scale. As with Level 1, 2, and Youth & Juvenile, if a defendant is declared indigent by a judge, there is no fee for services. However, the Mandatory Treatment Act states if and when that defendant becomes able to pay for services, the respective programs may request payment.


Level 1 Program Overview

Participants will attend each of the sessions in sequence, always beginning with Session 1. The program is generally structured in four three-hour sessions.

  • Session 1: Introduction
  • Session 2: Laws & Consequences
  • Session 3: Alcohol/Other Drugs & Their Effects
  • Session 4: Looking Ahead

Level 2 Program Overview

Participations will attend each of the sessions in sequence, always beginning with Session 1. Level 2 participants have the option to bring a friend or family member to Session 5. The program is generally structured with eight sessions, with a total of 24 class hours. Participants are also required to attend four one-hour self-help meetings on their own, for a total of 28 hours.

  • Session 1: Introduction
  • Session 2: Laws & Consequences
  • Session 3: Alcohol/Other Drugs & Their Effects
  • Session 4: Patterns of Use
  • Session 5: Family & Support Systems
  • Session 6: Strategies for Positive Change
  • Session 7: Strategies for Positive Change (continued)
  • Session 8: Looking Ahead

Youth & Juvenile Program Overview

Students will attend each of the sessions in sequence, always beginning with Session 1.

  • Session 1: Introduction
  • Session 2: Alcohol/Other Drugs & Their Effects
  • Session 3: Exploring Consequences
  • Session 4: Anger and Me
  • Session 5: Resolving Conflict
  • Session 6: Personal Change Plan

Level 3 Treatment Overview

A Level 3 referral is a referral to treatment. Most Level 3 referrals are sent to a community mental health center for a full assessment utilizing the DSM IV-R criteria. Level 3 consists of inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment. IOP is individual or group treatment and other therapeutic activities, including self-help, occurring during scheduled operating hours. While in treatment the following topics are discussed, explored and addressed: alcohol/other drugs & their effects, patterns of use, triggers, relapse, effective communication skills, stress and anger management, etc...


Level 1 Education Goals

Level 1 is a 12-hour program primarily for defendants who have been evaluated as non-problem users.

Program goals are to:

  1. provide participants with information about the Alabama laws that relate to alcohol and other drugs.
  2. provide participants with information about how alcohol and other drugs affect behavior, the body, the family, and community.
  3. give participants an opportunity to evaluate their own use of alcohol and other drugs.
  4. help participants create personal change plans to avoid problems with alcohol and other drugs in the future.
  5. reduce the number of alochol and other drug-related crimes.

Level 2 Education Goals

Level 2 includes 24 hours of intensive education and the 4 hours of self-help for defendants who are assessed as substance abusers.

Program goals are to:

  1. provide participants with information about the Alabama laws that relate to alcohol and other drugs.
  2. provide participants with information about how alcohol and other drugs affect behavior, the body, the family, and community.
  3. help participants understand the patterns of alcohol and other drug use from nonuse to dependancy.
  4. give participants an opportunity to evaluate their own use of alcohol and other drugs.
  5. provide participants with information about how alcohol and other drug abuse affects the family.
  6. discuss recovery and introduce available community resources.
  7. help participants strengthen coping skills, including stress reduction, alcohol/other drug refusal,communication and anger management skills.
  8. help participants create personal change plans to avoid problems with alcohol and other drugs in the future.
  9. reduce the number of alcohol and other drug-related crimes.

Youth & Juvenile Education Goals

Youth & Juvenile Education is a 12-hour program for young persons age 21 and under who are involved in alcohol or other drug-related crimes or who have been identified as high-risk youth.

Program goals are to:

  1. Encourage students to identify the reason they are attending the class and what problems may have led them there.
  2. Provide students with information about how the use of alcohol and other drugs affect behavior, the body, the family, and their future.
  3. Provide students with information about the symptoms and risks of substance abuse and addiction.
  4. Provide students with information about Alabama laws that relate to alcohol and other drugs.
  5. Help students examine how they deal with angry feelings.
  6. Teach students how to control their feelings and behavior by controlling their thoughts and attitudes.
  7. Provide students with strategies for conflict resolution.
  8. Help students create a personal change plan to address one of the problems they are experiencing.
  9. Reduce the number of alcohol and other drug-related crimes.

Level 3 Goals

Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment may vary in length depending on the severity of the alcohol and drug problem.

Some of the program goals are to:

  1. Encourage defendants to identify the reason they are attending treatment and what problems may have led them there.
  2. Provide defendants with information about how the use of alcohol and other drugs affect behavior, the body, the family, and their future.
  3. Provide defendants with information about the symptoms and risks of substance abuse and addiction.
  4. Provide defendants with strategies for triggers.
  5. Reduce the number of alcohol and other drug-related crimes.
  6. Maintain sobriety and drug free.