Collaborative Justice Court Programs

The Ventura Superior Court operates several specialized courts in collaboration with several County of Ventura agencies and community-based partners. They include:

Adult Drug Court

The Adult Drug Court is designed for drug offenders who have failed Deferred Entry of Judgment programs and would otherwise be committed to state prison. Offenses eligible for participation include non-violent drug-related felonies and non-violent non-drug felonies when the defendant has a demonstrated history of drug abuse which contributed to the offense(s) presented.

Services provided include drug and alcohol assessment, outpatient community-based substance abuse treatment and/or residential treatment, individual and group counseling services, intensive probation supervision and random drug testing.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Probation Agency, Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney, Public Defender, and the Sheriff’s Department.

Community-based partner(s) include: Khepera House and Prototype Women’s Center.

Dependency Drug Court

Dependency Drug Court is a program for mothers who have given birth to newborns prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs. Participants receive intensive treatment and supervision while remaining under the jurisdiction of the court. The program’s goal is to provide the earliest possible intervention while strengthening the family’s ability to care for these children. Successful completion of the program results in early reunification of the family.

Services provided include intensive residential substance abuse treatment for the mother, in-home counseling services, parenting aide services, parenting skills, vocational and educational assessments, and child development monitoring and intervention services, as well as outpatient alcohol and drug treatment services.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Department, Public Health and the Ventura County Medical Center.

Community-based partner(s) include: Prototypes Women’s Center and ASPIRAnet.

Community Intervention Court

Community Intervention Court provides defendants charged with repeated vagrancy-related crimes the opportunity to participate in appropriate treatment and social service programs aimed at assisting them with reintegration into society. It is open to homeless people arrested for municipal code violations in the city of Ventura.

Defendants participate in an intensive, closely-supervised case management program, which substitutes counseling, treatment and participation in social service programs for the traditional fines, fees and jail time. Defendants are ineligible to participate if their offense included any crime of violence, the sale of drugs, or carries a mandatory jail sentence.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Public Defender, Behavioral Health Department, Alcohol and Drug Programs, and Sheriff’s Department.

Community-based partner(s) include: the Ventura Police Department, Ventura City Attorney, Project Understanding, Turning Point Foundation, and Salvation Army of Ventura.

Domestic Violence Court

Domestic Violence Court provides a centralized approach to the handling of domestic violence cases. A single judge monitors offenders to confirm that they are enrolled in a 52-week anger management program and meeting with their probation officer. The primary goal of the program is to reduce repeat offenses through a higher level of monitoring and the quick imposition of consequences for failures to comply with court orders.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Probation Agency, Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney, Public Defender, and Public Health Services.

Elder Law Court

Elder Law Court is a dedicated calendar consolidating all elder abuse cases in one courtroom. Elder Law Court hears all matters filed under Penal Code Section 368, except trials and preliminary hearings. Case types frequently include financial abuse resulting from theft, fraud and embezzlement, as well as domestic violence, senior-on-senior crimes, and abusive care giving.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation Agency, Public Health, DA-Victim Services, Human Services Agency-Adult protective Services and Sheriff’s Department.

Community-based partner(s) include: the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement-Civil cases only and Area Agency on Aging.

Homeless Court

Homeless Court helps homeless people pay their fines for minor violations through community service. Special court sessions are held at homeless advocacy locations serving areas of the county most impacted by homelessness. Completion of community service hours is supervised and confirmed by the social worker.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney and the Public Defender.

Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court provides mental health treatment services and support services to adult mentally ill offenders who have co-occurring disorders (a primary diagnosis of mental illness and a secondary substance abuse disorder) in a post-booking, out-of-custody, formal probation setting. The target population consists of adult offenders booked into jail for misdemeanor offenses and low-level felonies who have a primary diagnosis of mental illness. The services provided include mental health assessment, psychological evaluations, integrated outpatient community based mental health and substance abuse treatment, medication monitoring, individual therapy, intensive probation supervision, 24-hour crisis services and linkages to supported employment, medical, housing and family services.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Probation Agency, Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney, Public Defender and the Sheriff’s Department.

“INSIGHTS” Juvenile Collaborative Court Program

The “INSIGHTS” Program was developed in response to the needs of a population of juvenile offenders who are diagnosed with several emotional disturbances and, potentially, co-occurring substance use disorders, who do not respond well to existing dispositional alternatives and often linger on probation or revolve in and out of custodial facilities and/or out-of-home placements. The program will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to provide intensive treatment and case management services to these youth.

Through a collaborative process, coordinated services are offered to the youth/caregivers which may include comprehensive mental health services, substance abuse services, peer and parent support, and other county and community-based support resources. With focus on the special needs of these high-risk youth and their families, interagency team members will work in strong collaboration to develop individualized multidisciplinary case plans with the overarching goals of reducing incarcerations, hospitalizations, and other out-of-home placements, and providing those supports necessary for these youth to be successful in their home communities.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Probation Agency, Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney, Public Defender, Ventura County Office of Education, and the Public Health Department.

Veterans Court

Officially known as the Ventura Court Veterans Intervention Program (VCVIP), this specialized court hears criminal cases involving honorably discharged veterans who suffer from the effects of combat-related psychological injuries or substance abuse. Participants must be charged with an offense punishable by incarceration and are required to enter a plea of guilty or no contest.

Services include medically supervised care, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, psychiatric treatment, drug and alcohol testing, drug and alcohol therapy, and veteran peer group support. An assigned Veterans Administration staff member is present in court to assist every defendant with accessing the treatment programs and finding housing and job placement. Participants must complete their treatment plan to receive a reduced overall sentence on their current case.

Collaborative Ventura County partners include: the Behavioral Health Department, District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation Agency and Sheriff’s Department.

Community-based partner(s) include: the Veterans Administration, Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, veterans advocacy groups, and other veteran service providers.

Stand Down Court

Stand Down is a community event held every July that provides social services for homeless veterans. A court session is held at the event site to adjudicate criminal infractions and minor misdemeanors for homeless veterans who have outstanding cases. Homeless veterans are given an opportunity to satisfy their fines through programs offered by homeless shelters, community service projects, attendance in Alcoholics Anonymous, and linkage with appropriate social service programs.

For more information on Collaboritive Justice Courts, visit the California Courts website.

© 2022 Superior Court of California, Ventura County