A Dallas probation program called Dual Diagnosis aims at treating both drug addiction and mental illness. Judge Mark Stoltz manages the courtroom portion of program with a compassionate but heavy hand, says the Dallas Morning News. Each Monday, between 40 and 50 participants fill the courtroom to provide weekly, biweekly or monthly updates, depending on where they are in their treatment process. His biggest rule is honesty, followed closely by accountability. One by one, Stoltz calls each person’s name and talks about what has happened since they last met. Case workers, probation officers, medical professionals, and a public defender all gather to provide updates for each participant.
If someone relapses on drugs, Stoltz gives that person credit for being honest about it. Then he requires the person to write an essay. If it happens again, they get community service. And if the problem persists, he’ll order jail time. Sometimes jail is the first option. Since its February launch, more than 160 people have been admitted to the Dual Diagnosis program. To date, 85 have graduated, 60 remain enrolled and 25 did not successfully complete it.