Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Why Florida Treatment Programs Fail?


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Welcome back to Florida Criminal Law. This is the special edition on Crime And Treatment. And the question was posed in the last video “Why Don’t Florida’s Treatment Programs Work?” And the reason they don’t work is very simple. There is not an appropriate diagnostic protocol before there is a rush to treatment. Basically, this is how Florida does it across the board and many states do as well, and this is the problem. What is your name, what is your charge? That is it. If you are charged as a DUI and you have never been arrested for a DUI before, you go to level 1 DUI school with mandatory aftercare counseling. And it fails so spectacularly bad that they doubled down on dumb and created level 2 DUI school for multi-offenders. So, right away, we know that DUI school does not work. What about drug court because it makes sense? If somebody keeps getting into trouble because they have got a drug problem; solve the drug problem, they do not get in trouble, makes a lot of sense. Here is the problem.

There is no diagnostic protocol. It is, again, what is your name, do you have a problem with drugs? That’s about it. What is your charge? Is it related to drugs? That’s it. And the problem with that is I want you to imagine that you have a 12-year old and your 12-year old is playing on the roof of the car. Now, do you let your 12-year old play on the roof of the car? Of course, not. No responsible parent would let a 12-year old play on the roof of a car. But if you have been a parent or you know a parent, then you have probably learned along the way that kids do what they do as much as you try to train them, coach them, teach them, punish them, whatever, they are going to do what they do and imagine your 12-year old falls off the roof of the car and you have known your child since the day they were born. And between their wrist and elbow, it is no longer a relatively straight line.

Well, you immediately rush your child to the hospital and you go in, you meet with the doctor and the doctor goes, “Hmm, looks serious. Yep, we know exactly what to do. We are going to put a red cast on your child’s right leg”. As a parent, you are going, “What? I am sorry. Excuse me? I don’t think I heard you. Did you say you are going to put a red cast on my child’s right leg when the left arm appears to be broken?” “Yep, that is what we are going to do. We do it in every case and it works all the time”. What about these things called X-rays, don’t you do x-rays if you think a bone is broken? No, don’t need it. We know what to do. That, right there, sums up exactly what is wrong with Florida’s treatment program across the board, whether it is as a special condition of probation, whether it is drug court or whether it is veteran’s court or anything else.

Now, of all these different programs, by far, veteran’s court is the best. It is run by a very well-respected judge, T Patterson Maney. In fact, the veteran’s court act is named after him. But again, they suffer from the same things that the other programs suffer from. And that is, 1) a problematic belief structure, and 2) an absence of funding. We are going to talk more about this in the next special series on FLORIDA CRIMINAL LAW with Crime And Treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

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Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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