Drug Treatment Court


John P. Cohalan, Jr., Courthouse
District Court
400 Carleton Avenue
Courtroom D-35
Central Islip, NY 11722

General Info: 631-208-5776
FAX: 631-853-6245

Suffolk County District Court Judge
Acting County Court Judge
Hon. Jennifer A. Henry

Project Director II
Edward Gialella - 631-208-5776

Resource Coordinator
Gina Ciccone - 631-208-5971

Case Managers
Meaghan Wright - 631-208-5970


Mission Statement

Drug Treatment Court is a specialized part of the Suffolk County District and County Criminal Courts. It is a court-supervised, alternative to incarceration program for those who have drug and/or alcohol addiction, and are arrested in Suffolk County on Misdemeanor or Felony charges. Drug Treatment Court combines the resources of the court, law enforcement, substance abuse and mental health service providers to bring effective intervention to individuals caught in the cycle of substance abuse and crime. The defendants are required by the Drug Treatment Court to make regular court appearances before the Judge.

Eligibility for the Drug Treatment Court

The District Attorney’s Office evaluates each defendant and their prior criminal history. It is they who decide whether or not the defendant may enter the program. They can accept any substance abuser arrested in Suffolk County who is charged with any non-violent offense, either misdemeanor or felony. The participant must have had no criminal history involving violence. Defendants are ineligible if they are charged with a felony-level drug sale or any violent offense.

If the treatment team determines that the defendant has a substance use disorder and is clinically eligible for treatment, a recommendation will be made to the judge. If a defendant wishes to participate, they must plead guilty to a crime and the judge will defer sentencing until treatment is completed. The defendant must appear for all schedule Court dates, follow the treatment plan developed by the treatment team, and live a law abiding life.

Participating in the Drug Treatment Court

The defendant will agree to stay in Drug Court for at least one year on a Misdemeanor or 18 months if pleading to a Felony. The participant agrees to abide by the Rules of the Court and those specifically designated for his/her program, as per their contract signed at the time of plea. During their time in the program, defendants will be placed on interim probation and be subject to the terms of probation outlined in their contract. If the participant successfully completes treatment, the charges will be reduced or dismissed depending on the agreement between the District Attorney, the Judge, and the participant. The participant will be aware of this disposition prior to entering the Drug Court Program.

The court will use a system of graduated sanctions and rewards to induce compliance if the participant is doing well in treatment, his/her progress will be recognized by the judge. If the participant is not complying, the judge will impose sanctions. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to a modified treatment plan or more frequent court appearances and some instances, jail.

If the participant fails to complete the program by his/her own wishes, or is asked to leave the program for non-compliance, then the court will impose the breakout sentence that was agreed upon in the Drug Court Contract.

Key Staff and Referral Process

Program staff includes the Presiding Judge, Project Director, Resource Coordinator, case managers, and Department of Probation.

Generally, defendants are referred to Drug Court by their attorney and/or the Judge Presiding over their case. Once a defendant is referred, he or she is scheduled for an assessment to determined their clinical eligibility for the program. If they are found eligible, the defendant is given the option to enter. Defendants who choose not to participate continue through the normal criminal justice process. Those who are eligible and decide to participate plead guilty to the charges and become program participants.