Dawson County Treatment Court


Established in 2006 as one of the first hybrid courts in the state, Dawson County Treatment Court is a program that blends the multiple offender, felony drug court, and mental health court models into one program to assist individuals with drug charges, DUIs, and whose criminal involvement is directly related to a primary mental health diagnosis.

The Dawson County Treatment Court’s mission is to make offenders accountable for their actions, bringing about a behavioral change that reduces criminal recidivism, and provides the tools and resources needed to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs; to protect the public; to treat the victims of offenders in a fair, just way; and to educate the public as to the benefits of accountability courts in the communities that they serve. Additionally, Treatment Court provides alternatives to incarceration for individuals who have been identified with substance use and/or mental health issues by linking those individuals to local, community-based resources. Treatment Court offers four tracks:

  • Drug Dependency Track: minimum 24-month program
  • Felony Probation Track: minimum 24-month program
  • DUI Track: minimum 12-month program
  • Mental Health Track: minimum 18-24 month program

Eligibility and Disqualification Criteria

Persons aged 18 and older arrested on drug-related charges must meet certain legal criteria to be considered a candidate for Dawson County Treatment Court. In addition to maintaining a residence in Dawson County, such persons must be facing a charge of one of the following offenses in order to qualify for the Drug Dependency and DUI Tracks:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute of Controlled Substance (where drug use is a contributing factor)
  • Prescription drug offenses/Obtain Controlled Substance by Fraud, Theft, Forgery (or attempt to obtain)
  • Property crimes
  • Two DUI convictions in five years or three or more lifetime convictions

Individuals arrested on misdemeanor or felony charges or facing probation revocations with a history of severe and persistent mental illness may qualify for admittance to the Dawson County H.E.L.P. Program (mental health track). As part of clinical eligibility, the individual cannot have a primary substance abuse, mental retardation, or traumatic brain injury diagnosis. Referrals to H.E.L.P. Program (mental health track) require the same legal clearance as the Drug Dependency and DUI Tracks. Additionally, a nexus must exist between the crime and mental health diagnosis.

Certain legal factors may exclude one from being eligible for the Treatment Court program. These factors include

  • A severe physical or mental handicap that would prevent program participation, though an appropriate referral must be made
  • Conviction of any felony violent offense or sexual offense
  • Illegal alien status
  • Felony firearm charges (an individual may reapply at a later date if charges are reduced)
  • Sex offenders
  • Individuals with any gang affiliation
  • Current felony charge of a more serious nature than drug charge
  • Pending felony charges in other jurisdictions

Referral Information

Referrals for Treatment Court participation come from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Dawson County Detention Center, private defense attorneys, the Department of Community Supervision, misdemeanor probation offices, and other accountability court programs. The referral form is in the Supporting Documents section below.

Important Phone Numbers

Avita Community Partners

(678) 866-8777

Public Defender’s Office

(706) 216-3853

Georgia Crisis and Access Line


CARES Warm Line


Staff Contacts