Treatment Courts

The mission of the Orange County treatment courts is to provide a pathway of accountability and substance use treatment that allows participants to have the opportunity to successfully engage in a lifestyle of abstinence and recovery.

In drug treatment court, participants work with a team of judges, attorneys, treatment clinicians, social workers, probation officers, case managers, and other professionals on a schedule of drug testing and twice monthly court visits. Participants also work with the support of case managers to connect to substance use treatment and other needed resources, and work on coping strategies and recovery plans. People who attend drug court have often exhausted other less intensive options. Drug court gives another chance to avoid incarceration by working through their treatment plan with the support of available community services. Drug treatment courts benefit both the community and the individual by providing services to help heal instead of incarceration to punish.

Judicial District 15B offers two therapeutic programs for court involved adults who have substance use disorders – Family Treatment Court and Recovery Court.

Family Treatment Court is a collaborative effort between the court system and the Department of Social Services (DSS), and is for parents who have a case pending with DSS regarding abuse, neglect, or dependency. Participants are referred to the program by DSS Social Workers and through Child Planning Conferences. They are monitored by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a judge, defense attorney, DSS attorney, treatment provider, guardian ad litem, DSS social worker, court coordinator and court case manager. Successful participants enhance their parenting skills and improve the chances of having their parental rights restored. 

Recovery Court is a diversionary court for high-risk individuals who are facing significant terms of incarceration. Participants are referred to the program by judges, defense attorneys, and probation officers. The monitoring team consists of a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, treatment provider, probation officer, and court coordinator. Successful participants avoid incarceration and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.


These alternative court programs require participants to engage in formalized substance abuse disorder treatment and a variety of recovery-based activities. The core components of both programs are random drug testing, regular treatment sessions, and frequent court appearances. Along the way, participants receive motivational incentives and timely sanctions to help modify behavior. Each program consists of five phases, and approximately one year of compliance is required for graduation.


In addition to enjoying the benefits of a sober lifestyle and making progress toward long-term recovery, Family Treatment Court and Recovery Court participants can receive assistance with housing, employment, transportation, child care, mental health treatment, and a variety of other services. The societal benefits include safer communities and the cost savings associated with alleviating over-burdened criminal legal, social service, and health care systems.

Successful graduates of drug treatment courts benefit in so many ways, by ceasing the cycle of substance use and justice involvement they are able to remain employed, find and keep housing, repair relationships, have their children back in their lives, and have their driver’s license restored. Some graduates go on to become recovery coaches themselves.

Treatment Courts Brochure

Recovery Court Referral

Family Treatment Court Referral

  1. Sean O'Hare

    Drug Treatment Coordinator
    Phone: 919-245-2305; Cell: 919-886-8855

  2. Shana Harper

    Treatment Court Case Manager
    Phone: 919-245-2305; Cell: 919-438-2908

  3. Criminal Justice Resource Department

    Physical Address
    106 E Margaret Lane
    1st Floor, Courthouse
    Hillsborough, NC 27278

    Fax: 919-640-1729