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Court Assisted Recovery Effort

Mission Statement

The Court Assisted Recovery Effort helps Defendants to create and to maintain sober, employed and law abiding lives. Success in the program promotes both public safety and the rehabilitation of the defendant. C.A.R.E. involves closer supervision of a defendant and higher expectations than regular supervision, but it also offers a defendant greater assistance, opportunity and reward. The Court, the Probation Office, the United States Attorney and the Federal Defender Office all participate in C.A.R.E. in an effort to help each Defendant succeed.


Program Summary

The District of Massachusetts has a Court Assisted Recovery Effort presided over by a Magistrate Judge. Defendants serving terms of supervised release or probation with a significant substance abuse history may voluntarily enroll in the program subject to the approval of the Probation Office. Sex offenders and persons with major active mental health problems are not now eligible. Upon graduation a defendant earns a one year reduction in his/her term of supervision, provided he/she qualifies as eligible for such a reduction under Probation's standard national monograph. The C.A.R.E. program aims to assist a supervisee in establishing a sober, employed, law abiding life in an effort to promote public safety, to more effectively use Probation's treatment resources and to promote rehabilitation. C.A.R.E. is a treatment program in which participants earn rewards of various types with their successes or consequences/sanctions for misconduct or failure to perform. The sanctions are imposed promptly as we meet every week.

C.A.R.E. is a one year program consisting of four three month phases. Upon graduation from C.A.R.E., a defendant earns a one year reduction in the term of supervised release. The degree of supervision is strict and close at the outset requiring the participant to appear in Court each week and at Probation at least two other times each week for drug testing/supervision meetings in addition to substance abuse treatment. These requirements lessen as a participant moves through the phases. Phase II requires every other week court appearances, Phase III every third week and Phase IV every fourth week with corresponding reductions in Probation supervision.

Each Wednesday at 9:30 a.m the Magistrate Judge Sorokin meets with the assigned Probation Officers, AUSA, AFPD as well as the representatives from Probation's outside treatment contractors. At this meeting, the Court reviews the status of each participant in the program, discusses possible changes in treatment, compliance problems, sanctions. In advance of the meeting Probation circulates weekly status reports regarding each participant. At 11:00, Magistrate Judge Sorokin convenes the weekly Court session in which one by one each participant comes forward to engage in a discussion with Magistrate Judge Sorokin open court about his/her current situation. If the participant has failed to adhere to the terms of the program or the terms of supervision (Grade C violations such as failing to meet with probation, missing a drug test, testing positive etc.), then a sanction is imposed. Sanctions have included jail (the maximum in the program is seven days), community service, writing assignments, meetings with recovering addicts etc. If a violation is resolved in C.A.R.E., Probation will not make it the basis for a violation petition. Because the program is voluntary, a participant may withdraw at anytime, although he/she may face a petition for any unresolved violation. Likewise, Probation may file a petition for any violation in lieu of resolution in C.A.R.E.. We also reward participants' successes with encouragement and praise.


C.A.R.E. Downloadable Documents

C.A.R.E. in the News

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