Standards on Substance Abuse: Standard XII. Monitoring compliance

Standards prepared by the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Substance Abuse

Table of Contents

Standard XII

Every court should intensively monitor compliance with court-imposed treatment conditions. Tools available should include drug testing, verification of attendance at counseling sessions and self help recovery meetings, and communication with treatment providers. Tools for monitoring compliance, such as drug testing and breathalyzers, should be available in every courthouse and drug testing results should be made available to the court as quickly as possible. The court should inform every person who is subject to court ordered treatment conditions that non-compliance with the conditions will have consequences and the court should directly and expeditiously address any non-compliance.


The probation department should monitor compliance by means of drug and alcohol testing; verification of attendance at self help recovery meetings; frequent progress reports from the treatment provider; and, wherever possible, day and nighttime visits at the person's home, school, place of work, or treatment provider. In order to facilitate such monitoring, the probation department should obtain the person's signed consent to provide the treatment provider with relevant information in the person's probation case file, such as the person's criminal record and treatment history.(6) (See also Standard XIV, Commentary, first paragraph.) The benefits of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance with drug or alcohol testing and treatment - such as modification of the conditions of probation or probation revocation - should be clearly and emphatically made known to the party. Positive tests, failure to submit to tests, and failure to attend counseling sessions or self help recovery meetings are serious matters and should be addressed promptly by the court. See Standard XIII for further suggestions about how to address non-compliance using graduated sanctions or consequences.
Conversely, if a party is complying with treatment conditions, positive reinforcement is also a valuable aid to recovery.



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6. See Standards for Certain Office Procedures for the Probation Offices of the Superior Court Department, Probate and Family Court Department, District Court Department, Boston Municipal Court Department and the Juvenile Court Department, Commissioner of Probation, Standard 5:05.

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