Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

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Snap Shot as of 1-1-2017

  • Treatment Courts: 1
  • Year Started: 2016
  • Graduates:

CNMI Drug Court Summary

Problem solving drug courts have been established nationwide as an alternative, cost- effective response to the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse after statistics revealed an alarming correlation between crime and substance abuse. Drug courts are a drastic departure from traditional criminal justice in that the approach is non-adversarial and focuses on long-term rehabilitation rather than immediate punitive or retributive punishment. Drug Courts incorporate punishment as only one component in a more comprehensive plan that strives to achieve long- term rehabilitation and ultimately, a safer community.

Drug courts share common goals including:

  • Reduce the number of drug abusers, thereby reducing the demand for illegal drugs;
  • Reduce the number of drug related crimes, thereby reducing the burden of drug related offenses on law enforcement and the criminal justice system;
  • Reduce recidivism rates among drug and alcohol abusers, including violence, which occurs while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and property related crimes that are committed due to drug or alcohol dependency;
  • Enable offenders to become productive members of society by eliminating dependence and directing their pursuit of gainful employment.

Additionally, the Commonwealth Drug Court will strive to provide influential drug and alcohol awareness for younger generations and to strengthen familial foundations by eliminating the alcohol and methamphetamine abuse within families that is often a prevalent cause of domestic violence crimes.

Within the Commonwealth, criminal justice agencies are cognizant of the alarming rise in use of methamphetamines and the inevitable criminal consequences related to the use of the drug. Prosecutors, law enforcement, and public defenders are acutely aware of the effect that the use and addiction of methamphetamines and alcohol have on Commonwealth residents and that addicts often display violent behavior.

Drug courts require intensive supervision including frequent, random drug tests. However, they do not incur the expenses associated with reoccurring incarceration for multiple short term sentences.

The Drug Court is for participants who have a history of abuse. It is not meant to be used as a haven for drug manufactures or drug sellers.

The nature of Drug Court relies upon the cooperation of several different agencies. The Attorney General’s Office, the Public Defender's Office, the Superior Court, Probation, Drug Court Judge, law enforcement and the treatment provider all working together for the common goal of helping people recover from substance abuse addictions.


Judiciary of the Northern Mariana Islands

CNMI Drug Court Establishment to Focus on Long-Term Rehabilitation

Associate Judge David A. Wiseman, the Drug Court Judge, announced today the immanent establishment of a Drug Court within the Commonwealth Superior Court. Two organizational meetings have already been held.

Read more HERE

CNMI Judiciary

CNMI Drug Court Staffing Announced

The long-awaited CNMI Drug Court Program, a pre-plea diversion model for substance users charged with a crime, is quickly becoming a reality.  By the efforts and emphatic support of the community, the enabling act for CNMI Drug Court, Public Law 19-14, was signed into law on October 28, 2015.

Read more HERE

Saipan Tribune

Sablan, Judiciary fortifying Drug Court program

Over seven months after the signing of the Drug Court Act of 2015 in October, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres appointed Yvette Sablan, who previously worked for Salem Oregon’s Marion County Health Department and served for Salem County’s District Attorney’s office for Victim Assistance, as the Special Assistant for Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Program.

Read more HERE


Useful Resources

Images from CNMI AODT Court