In New Jersey, offenders who have committed nonviolent and/or drug-related offenses are eligible for a program called Pre-Trial Intervention. Called PTI for short, the program offers an alternative to the incarceration that is traditionally used as a sentence. Alternatives can include a range of rehabilitative services depending on the nature of the offense, and if addiction is an underlying disorder, then addiction treatment may be an option.
In one recent case in Salem County, Alfred W. Coursey III made a request to the court that he be allowed to enter the Pre-Trial Intervention program after being convicted of cocaine possession and marijuana possession with intent to distribute. Coursey claims that his possession of the substances was due to an ongoing substance use disorder and that he would benefit from treatment for the problem. The distribution charges, however, disqualify him and other applicants from being eligible for the program.
The court, however, ruled that Coursey would have the opportunity to prove that he was dependent on drugs at the time of his arrest and potentially be reconsidered for the PTI program.