Home Table of Contents

AP XIII, Sec. 12 Incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes AnnotatedAdministrative Procedures of the Court of JusticeEffective: March 1, 2023

Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated
Administrative Procedures of the Court of Justice
Part XIII. Procedures for Drug Court
Effective: March 1, 2023
Administrative Procedures, AP XIII, Sec. 12
AP XIII, Sec. 12 Incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments
(1) Incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments shall be administered by the drug court judge. The judge will be assisted by the drug court team who will advise the judge from their areas of expertise. Discussion of incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments occur during the drug court staffing. Judicial oversight must ensure that:
(a) Consequences are predictable, individualized, fair and consistent. Positive behaviors should result in incentives, with praise and encouragement from the judge. Negative behaviors should result in graduated sanctions based on the participant's current ability to comply. Sanctions should be accompanied by appropriate therapeutic adjustments which are distinct from sanctions and should be suggested by a licensed treatment provider.
(b) Participants shall receive positive and negative consequences that are equivalent to those received by other participants in the same phase of the program who are engaged in comparable conduct. Participants receive positive and negative consequences without regard to their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.
(c) Consequences are communicated in advance. Policies and procedures for incentives and sanctions may be specified in writing in the Drug Court Participant Handbook and shall be communicated with participants and the drug court team members in advance. Policies shall provide a clear indication of behaviors that result in an equitable range of incentives or sanctions based on the unique needs of the participant.
(d) The drug court judge and drug court team may reserve a reasonable degree of discretion to individualize consequences considering circumstances presented in each case.
(e) Participants shall be allowed an opportunity to explain their perspectives pertaining to situations which result in the imposition of incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments. A clear justification for the positive, negative, or therapeutic adjustment imposed will be explained by the judge during the drug court session.
(f) Communications with participants are delivered by the judge in the drug court session in a professional manner. Participants shall not be shamed, and consequences shall be presented without anger, ridicule, foul or abusive language, or comparison.
(2) Drug courts shall seek to place emphasis on incentivizing productive and positive behaviors in accordance with Best Practice Standards. Incentives should occur at a ratio of at least 4:1 compared to sanctions. The following shall be considered when responding to participant's positive behaviors:
(a) Opportunities for praise, rewards and encouragement should accompany positive improvements, even if other sanctions are administered in the same session. Small and incremental changes in behavior should be rewarded and encouraged as well as major achievements.
(b) “Proximal” goals, within the current ability of the participant to comply, are rewarded, with the eventual (“distal”) goal of increasing participant involvement in productive activities such as abstinence, employment, and prosocial activities.
(c) Incentives may include small, tangible rewards provided by the drug court team, a temporary decrease in drug court requirements, and an increase or advancement in phase. Praise and encouragement from the judge are the most effective incentives.
(d) Cash cannot be used as incentives. General funds cannot be used to purchase incentives other than as set forth in the KCOJ Reimbursement for Justices' and Judges' Administrative Expenses policy or other applicable court rule or procedure.
(3) Failure to comply to the requirements and other conditions established by the drug court may result in the imposition of sanctions upon a participant. Sanctions shall be applied with certainty and immediacy where possible by the drug court judge with input from the drug court team. The following shall be considered when responding to participant noncompliance:
(a) As participants move through the phases, the consequences for infractions may increase accordingly. Progressive sanctions shall be utilized for continuous noncompliance along with recommended therapeutic response(s).
(b) For goals that are difficult for participants to accomplish, the sanctions may increase slowly but progressively in magnitude over successive infractions.
(c) For goals that are relatively easy for participants to accomplish, higher magnitude sanctions may be administered after only a few infractions.
(d) Consequences are imposed for the nonmedically indicated use of intoxicating or addictive substances, including alcohol, cannabis (marijuana) and prescription medications, regardless of the licit or illicit status of the substance. The drug court team relies on expert medical input to determine whether a prescription for an addictive or intoxicating medication is medically indicated and whether nonaddictive, nonintoxicating, and medically safe alternative treatments are available.
(e) Incarceration is imposed judiciously and sparingly. Unless a participant poses an immediate risk to public safety, jail sanctions are administered only after less severe consequences have been ineffective at deterring infractions. Jail sanctions are definite in duration and typically last a short time. Jail sanctions over three to five days are discouraged.
(f) Participants may be terminated from the drug court if they no longer can be managed safely in the community or if they fail to comply with treatment or supervision requirements. Participants are not terminated from the drug court for continued substance use if they are otherwise compliant with their treatment and supervision conditions, unless they are nonamenable to the treatments that are reasonably available in their community.
(4) Participants do not receive punitive sanctions if they are otherwise compliant with their treatment and supervision requirements but are not responding to the current treatment interventions. Under such circumstances, the treatment provider may reassess the individual and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. The following shall be considered when making therapeutic adjustments:
(a) Adjustments to treatment plans shall be based on the recommendations of duly trained treatment professionals.
(b) The drug court judge, with input from the treatment provider, may order these therapeutic adjustments resulting in additional referrals for services or treatment.


HISTORY: Amended by Order 2022-50, eff. 3-1-23; prior amendments eff. 2-12-16 (Order 2016-02), 3-23-10 (Order 2010-05), 7-30-09 (Order 2009-07); adopted by Order 2006-01, eff. 1-9-06
Administrative Procedures, AP XIII, Sec. 12, KY ST ADMIN P AP XIII, Sec. 12
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
End of Document