Sparks Recovery Court

Mission Statement

"The overall mission of Sparks Recovery Court is to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs thereby reducing related criminal activity.  Sparks Recovery Court provides participants who have a drug and/or alcohol addiction access to a therapeutic drug and alcohol treatment program with ongoing monitoring and supervision that will provide them with the foundation to live a substance free life."

Judge Chris Wilson established Sparks Recovery Court (SRC) in November 2015 and is the weekly presiding judge.  SRC combines rigorous judicial supervision, random alcohol/drug testing, treatment, sanctions and incentives to help offenders with substance dependence break the cycle of addiction and crime.  The goal of SRC is to achieve total rehabilitation resulting in complete and continued cessation of narcotics use, full-time gainful employment, clean and safe housing for dependent children, and being able to maintain themselves and their families without any form of government assistance.  SRC follows the ten key components of Drug Court established by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).

Nevada’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) awards a grant to SRC to pay for drug and alcohol testing, counseling, incentives and other costs associated with the program. SRC received its first grant in 2015 and applies for the grant each year so that SRC may continue to provide the therapeutic treatment its participants need.

SRC takes a team approach to support participants throughout the program to attain a clean and sober lifestyle.  The members of the SRC Team include the Judge, Deputy District Attorney, Public Defender, Department of Alternative Sentencing and treatment providers.  Graduating from SRC requires a strong personal commitment from participants to develop a healthy lifestyle and eliminate substance use.    

There are four phases within SRC that take a minimum of 12 months to complete.  Throughout these phases, participants are required to attend weekly outpatient treatment sessions, weekly AA/NA meetings, weekly court sessions, submit to random alcohol/drug testing and any other conditions set by the judge. 

Eligibility Criteria and Suitability

Offense: Eligibility is a legal determination based on the nature of type of charge(s) filed against a defendant as well as the defendant's prior criminal history.  Eligible offenses to be considered for the Sparks Recovery Court include:

  • Misdemeanor conviction of a DUI offense in Washoe County;
  • Violation of NRS 454.351, Possession of Drugs Not to be Introduced Into Interstate Commerce;
  • Any violation of NRS 453, Controlled Substances, punishable as a misdemeanor;
  • Minor in possession (based on prior criminal history) with alcohol or drug abuse history;
  • Property crimes punishable as a misdemeanor;
  • First- and second-time drug and alcohol offenders between the ages of 18 and 25 who are assessed to need intensive outpatient services; and
  • Offenses not listed above, which are agreed upon by the district attorney, defense attorney, and the treatment team.

Unlike eligibility, suitability is more comprehensive.  The Court, in consultation with the treatment team, will determine suitability if it believes an individual would benefit from the program.  The Court will consider the treatment assessment, criminal history, age of defendant, and any other relevant information.  The Court will also consider an individual's level of addiction and the likelihood that the individual will participate and complete the program.  Any individual may be determined to be unsuitable for the program when that person is likely to pose a danger to the physical, emotional well-being, and recovery efforts of other participants.

Residence: Resides in Washoe County or adjoining county in the state of Nevada; residents who live in Sparks Township will have a priority.

Graduation Criteria

  • Compliance with all program requirements
  • Possess six months of alcohol and drug sobriety
  • No sanctions for 90 days
  • No additional criminal behavior
  • Attend NA/AA meetings three times per week
  • Recommendation from your treatment provider and the SRC Team

Graduation from the SRC Program represents a great accomplishment and is recognized as a very important event.  Your family and friends that support your sobriety are invited to join you at a special graduation ceremony as the SRC Team congratulates you for successfully completing all of the Phases of the SRC Program and for achieving your goal to establish a drug free sober lifestyle.