October 31, 2014
Bridges Program

Overview

Bridges is a day treatment program that provides intensive drug and alcohol treatment, educational/vocational training and cognitive learning.

This effort works toward ending the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

Background

Spearheaded by Superior Court Judges George A. Miram, Marta S. Diaz, Mark R. Forcum, Carl W. Holm, and Margaret J. Kemp, Bridges represents a county-wide collaboration that works to slow the cycle of drug use and crime. A committee was formed to create a program that would make a difference in the lives of addicted offenders who had given up hope.

Bridges' Goals are to

  • Restore Lives: Provide treatment and training for eligible offenders with addiction-related criminal histories
  • Reduce Crime: Lower recidivism among target populations
  • Save Money and Resources: Reduce jail overcrowding

Participants in the Bridges Program are

  • Non-violent offenders with offenses that are directly or indirectly related to alcohol and drug dependency problems
  • Defendants are identified during special in-custody, pre-trial hearings and by the Probation Department
  • Defendants must fit criteria (below) for acceptance into Bridges

Participant Criteria

Eligible
  • Drug Possession
  • Petty theft with priors
  • Driving with suspended license
  • Probation violation
  • Other nonviolent, drug related offenses
  • Drunk driving cases
Ineligible
  • Second or third strike cases
  • Violent offenders
  • Possession for sale
  • Gang members
  • Psychiatric or psychological disorders
 
 

Terms and Conditions

  • Attend court sessions on a regular basis (regular appearances for status reports
  • Waive jail credit while in the program
  • Abide by rules of program, conditions of probation and all law
  • Comply with curfew
  • Abstain from drugs and alcohol
  • Submit to search and seizure without warrant or probable cause
 

Benefits of the Bridges Program

To the criminal justice system:

  • Jail overcrowding is eased
  • Decreased demands on law enforcement due to lower recidivism

To the community

  • Program participants become productive community members that contribute to society
  • Tax savings due to lowered rates of incarceration
  • Less risk of victimization

To the participants and their families

  • Substance treatment
  • Educational and/or vocation training
  • Participants receive the support necessary to turn their lives around
  • Family ties, once broken by the betrayal addiction, are reestablished
 

More information

More information about the Bridges Program can be found by clicking on the following links:
© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County