DREAM is a federal program modeled after drug courts that divert persons with a substance addiction from prison. If a person successfully completes the program the criminal charge is dismissed. The goal is to address past patterns of criminal behavior by providing rehabilitation, which in turn serves to protect the safety of the community. It involves a blend of treatment and sanctions as alternatives to the traditional prosecution and sentencing model. Participants must plead guilty before beginning the program, but the sentencing is delayed until the person successfully completes the program at which point the charge is dismissed.
DREAM is staffed with a District Court Judge, Assistant United States Attorneys, United States Probation Officers, a CJA Panel Attorney, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, and a paralegal or social worker from the Federal Public Defender’s Office.
For more information about the program, its principles, and your eligibility consult with your lawyer. Also see the Interagency Agreement, which more fully describes the program.