90-Day DART-Cherry

The Department of Correction runs substance abuse treatment programs for probationers and certain parolees: DART-Cherry in Goldsboro for men, and, as of last year, Black Mountain Substance Abuse Treatment Center for women (about which you can read more here).

DOC is making changes at DART-Cherry. Previously, there were two program tracks there: a 28-day cognitive-based program and a 90-day therapeutic community program. According to a November memo from the Secretary of Correction, as of January 1, 2011, DOC is discontinuing the 28-day program and devoting all 300 beds at DART-Cherry to the 90-day program. The memo explains the reasons for the change; in short, evidence shows the longer program works better.

Probably in response to the planned changes, I’ve been asked several times recently whether a probationer must have a suspended sentence of at least 90 days to be ordered to attend a 90-day treatment program. It’s a really good question. Unfortunately, I don’t think it has a clear answer.

DART-Cherry is a residential program under G.S. 15A-1340.11(8) and -1343(b1)(2). Unlike special probation (for which G.S. 15A-1351 caps the active portion of a split sentence at one-fourth the maximum sentence imposed or, for impaired drivers, one-fourth the maximum penalty allowed by law) there is no explicit statutory requirement for a person to have a suspended sentence of a particular length before being ordered to participate in a residential program. A defendant need not, for example, have an 8-year suspended sentence to participate in the 2-year residential program at Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) in Durham.

But DART-Cherry is arguably different. It has been deemed sufficiently restrictive of participants’ liberty to count as confinement under G.S. 15-196.1. State v. Lutz, 177 N.C. App. 140 (2006) (ordering credit against an activated sentence for time a defendant spent at DART-Cherry while on probation). If a court revoking probation must retrospectively credit the time as confinement, must a court sentencing a defendant to DART-Cherry as a condition of probation prospectively consider the time as confinement? To the extent that it must, sentences to DART-Cherry start to look like split sentences—which, under the one-fourth rule from G.S. 15A-1351, would need to have at least four days of suspended sentence for every day spent in the program. Under that approach a 90-day stint at DART-Cherry would only be permissible for a probationer who had at least 360 days of suspended time, or a DWI probationer sentenced to Level One or Level Two punishment.

But that’s just an argument; I don’t know of a case or statute clearly requiring a defendant to have a 90-day sentence (much less a 360-day one) as a prerequisite for attendance at 90-day DART. DOC’s list of eligibility criteria for DART-Cherry, available here, likewise does not say anything about a particular sentence length. But even if there’s no legal or administrative requirement for a defendant to have a certain amount of suspended time, it strikes me that a court might think twice before sending a person with a short suspended sentence to the 90-day program. Because any time spent there necessarily will count for credit upon revocation under Lutz, the offender becomes effectively revocation-proof when he or she has been in the program for time equal to the suspended sentence. I’m told the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission takes that approach, only sending parolees to the program if they have 90 (or close to 90) days remaining on their sentence.

45 comments on “90-Day DART-Cherry

  1. I thought that Structured Sentencing effectively did away with the 1/4 rule. Since minimum sentences under Structured Sentencing are virtually day for day, wouldn’t a sentence of 90 days or greater be sufficient for admission to DART, provided there is no other credit for jail days or in-patient treatment earned?

  2. this is more of a question than a comment. I personally asked to be sent to the dart cherry program because obvisouly i have a substance abuse problem i am fighting against due to the loose of both my parents recently. i am not being forced in anyway shape or form to be sent to the dart cherry 90 day program. my question is this. do i have to really deal with the bullshit as far as the fighting goes and bullying? believe me when i say this i have been in my share of fights and to be honest i am quiet good at it but this is my concern. im growing up and im done with the drama and i dont want to deal with fighting and the drama anymore that is why i choose to go to rehab to get clean so i can continue my life as i have once before done. if my question is not clear can someone that is able to answer my question contact me at 910-213-7579 please? on the 17th of november i am entering this program on the strict basis of getting my self clean. im not there to make any friends or enemys but i do have many more question convering my stay at the dart cherry progam and to be quiet honest i cant get a answer that is clear enough to my standards of thinking. i have talked with my probation officer i have talked with my task manager lewis croom and i have also called dart cherry personally and still after two months of trying to figure out a clear answer to my concerns i dont have one. i am really looking forward to getting my life on tract it might not be easy but thats ok because i for one have lived a tough life as a 21 year old man just trying to make it in life as a normal citizen. so again please i understand this is a werid and most likely stupid reply , but i need some answers so that is why i choose to leave this message for whom ever its read by, thank you and have a wonderful day.

    • I know someone who is getting ready to come into the program, is there really a lot of fighting??? How is it stopped? Or who breaks up the fights?

  3. Apparently the time only counts as parole/probation as individuals are sent there only through such orders from a judge or as a result of a parole hearing. Often parolees are under the impression that they are there to help prepare for their transition to society, but find the standards for completing the program are based almost solely on compliance to the mercurial daily rule structure which changes from shift to shift, staff member to staff member. Residents are confined directly to specific areas on the property and within the buildings basically by imaginary lines which move throughout the day, the crossing of which (intentionally or not) can be considered absconding.
    Note that it is also listed in the resident’s bill or rights that treatment my be discontuned/refused by the resident at any time and is presented as the resident has the right to leave, this is not the case as that rule only applies to individual treatment by counseling staff. Even that can be assessed as noncompliance and be presented as grounds for violation of conditions of parole/probation. Residents are often reminded that there are no fences and that they may leave at any time they like. This is done in an “acting as if” manner. “As if” the conditions of probation/parole don’t apply.
    The previous being considered and understanding that there is a treatment curriculum, the basic pracitum employed by the staff is based on the mantra (paraphrased),”You need to think of your actions in the terms of being out on the street or in prison because that’s where you’re headed.”
    In consideration, and oppostion, to an interrview in the Goldsboro News-Argus with DART PPO Stephanie Rose, security issues are minimal. Because of the assessment process in which residents are considered “willin and suitable” for the program, true physical intervention is rarely needed. PPO’s are only on the facilty during normal weekday business hours druing which they primarily attend to administrative duties (paperwork), although they are on call 24/7. There are no security personell after hours and there are no security cameras. Often evening and night shifts are attended by a single person (per building with app. 100 men in each building) and most often that single staff member is female.
    Some residents also have outstanding charges to be addessed upone their release and are told that their actions at DART Cherry will be considered by the court as will be documented in the resident’s completion packet. However, Community Corrections officials have stated that Division of Community Corrections does not participate in defense and have denied the existence of the completion packet and have stated that only confirmation of completion they receive the the compleltion letter whcih is delivered by the offender. This is reported as is documented in emails from DCC officials.
    Although there is much discussion about various types of community services and aftercare, DART make little to no effort in making appointments or establishing contacts with such services for the residents, even in something as simple as providing phone numbers. Residents are discourgaed from pursuing such matters with staff as staff may become annoyed and take disciplinary action against the resident for “disrespecting a staff member.” And indictment for this offense may easily lead to the loss of all privileges (including phone, going outside, smoke deck, etc.) until further notice. Some residents find themselve only able to move between the bathroom and their room (exluding classes and meals) for weeks on end.
    In closing: For the length of the stay, be it 30 or 90 days, the resident is highly restricted in both movement and action by the highly structured environment.

    • Can you tell me about the punishment for doing things thereof? I have been told they make you polish door knobs with your arm straight for 8 hours if you bend your arm you must start over., an that if you have a foul mouth they make you wear a toilet seat around your neck and a sign saying I am a potty mouth.I am a 32 year old man an will try the dart program out first myself next is there anything else I need to prepare myself for. Is the program easy hard or what? Do they have a milatry time approach or what? If you could answer these gor me thanks

      • The “polishing door knobs” is actually called “Reflections” and is typically only for 2 hours and you do get a bathroom break halfway through. The point is think about the situation that put you there in the first place and then (most likely) write a 3 page paper on what you will do to avoid such actions in the future. The physical activity itself is a reflection of a military stress position (many of the DART employees typically come from the military). I never saw the toilet seat, but other staff members mentioned it being used. I’m really not sure if that was something they were just saying in front of the residents for intimidation or if it was real.

    • Dart cherry is a damn joke IWent there two years ago and one of the counselors was selling narcotic pain medication to the people in the program. I will also bet atleast90 percent of its graduates relapse no more than 48 hours after release its a joke.

  4. I graduated from that place and yes all that is true but hey you have more freedom than jail you can were youre own clothes and you could smoke when i was there but not anymore good luck ive benn clean for two years from crack and weed

    • The success stories are important. You’re going to hear stories both negative and positive and they could all be true. There is a treatment curriculum that focuses on the traditional treatment methods that are traditionally successful.

  5. My son is at Dart Cherry in Goldsboro N.C . He graduates today. But doesn’t get out until May 20th . I am worried about what he is going to do after he gets out. Do they have a program to help them with their transition back into the real world so they don’t relapse ?

    • He has to want it, make him go to meetings 90 meetings in 90 days.. and hope he sees the light

  6. Can u smoke in this place I have a friend going there on the 24th

    • He’ll no you can’t smoke there I went there last year tell him it’s a lot of rules and structure people talk bad about it but it changed my life when I was there it was good family orientated but don’t go there for avoid jail time go there to change because it’s either failure or success!!!!! No in between that’s a promise!!!

  7. I have a 18 year old friend there for 90 days & I have seen only positive changes since he arrived there 36 days ago. I am Proud of him for choosing to go & stay & praying he has a healthy, drug-free successful future.

    • Praise God!

  8. Can u have contact w loved ones while there?

  9. Will DART take people. who is on probation and have pending charges?

  10. my brother is going tomorrow and his PO told him he had to be clean when he went. I’m not exactly sure if he is, he say’s he is but I can tell by the way he acts. Will they still take him tomorrow?

  11. I am looking for a place for my brother. He needs help badly, other places he goes always seems to become intimate with the CO or counselor. He does this to get advantage and privileges. Is Dart Cherry have cameras and better supervison to get this from happening. Thanks

  12. My son will be going there and I would like any information you can give me, from someone who has actually experienced being there. Thank You in Advance!

  13. My husband was sentenced to 18-31 months felony time with the court requesting him to continue his treatment by going thru dart cherry or some sort. Will this cut down his time and if so will he need to do it at the end of his sentence. He has straightened up his life before being sentenced and was working full time- is it possible for him to be put on a work program where he can continue working at his job. His employer is wanting him to continue working.

    • Hi msg Rodriguez, I’m interested in how many dui’s did your husband have to receive to get 18 to 31 months? I have one in north Carolina, but I got 4 previous. Can you help me out a little. Thanks.

    • Praise God!! This is wonderful!

  14. Are there different classes that you can take that will help you when you get out?

  15. Interested in DART Cherry?
    Here’s a ink to the DART Web Page.
    Many people beneit from the program.


  16. I’m glad this program is out there my fiance need help and realizes this but don’t want to ask for the help so now he is focused to do the program and god willing he gets to go not not sent back to the state from he got transfered from. He is a good guy and need help.

    • Prayers! For your husband!

  17. Are there women at this facility,?

  18. How often are phone calls aloud? Bc my boyfriend is there and now N he only gets 2 calls a week, phone val. Earned as a privilege on Sundays. Does that change or is that all he is allowed to call the whole 90 days there?

  19. My son will be going to dart cherry soon..will this place make a change in his life..be drug free when he gets released..and not want meth? Can he write letter.can he call out.can I go visit him? Answers appreshate..thank you

  20. I am a hope-filled parent. My 30 y.o. son has taken ownership of his issues. Even to his P.O.! He has made amends to work, family & friends. He turned himself in today. Tomorrow at 9am he is to be sentenced to 90 days @ D.Cherry. People in ‘programs’ have a positive view of it. I am anxious as its hours away (visitation) but feel perhaps that is a boon. My son will die a junkie if something doesn’t click with him. A Volvo driving, rich man’s appetited junkie. (He stays broke, hard to be a dope fiend & keep a Volvo!) The juxtaposition of it all is ridiculous but thats just part of the madness, right? I’m a rambling mess right now. What if the judge doesn’t remand him to this rehab? What if they’re booked, no open beds? Aargh! Anyhow, I happened upon this forum and am grateful for it. Wish us luck, please. We need it. RANDOM RANT: So we cannot go to several big named stores with him, he has a lifetime ban, can be arrested on the spot. WHAT!?! I’m middle aged and never heard of stores placing an order of protection on a customer. Not saying they’re wrong to do so, but my word…talk about a proud parenting moment! HA! So yes, my beloved son needs this program. Glad people took the time to share solid stories of getting better. Addiction is a mental illness. Wonderful, talented, kind, compassionate human beings suffer gravely. Pray for my boy. Thank you again.

  21. […] How long is DART Cherry? The DART Cherry program is 90 days long. There used to be a 28-day program, but it ended in 2011, as described here. […]

  22. […] How long is DART Cherry? The DART Cherry program is 90 days long. There used to be a 28-day program, but it ended in 2011, as described here. […]

  23. my son is going there for 90 days is it better then trosa? and will they help get him a job when completed.

  24. I went to Dart Cherry in Feb. 2014. My mind was set that this place was not going to change me. But it did. I am thankful for my probation officer sending me here. I was in a bad way,using meth every day. When I left here and went home my mind set was mentally changed and I didn’t realize it til I got back out in the world and saw all my ex friends and how awful they look. I am thankful for Dart Cherry. I have been clean and drug free and feel great being my normal self again. Thanks Mr. beard and staff. You people are awesome.

  25. My son is going there on April 18, 2017 and I was just wondering are you able to send them money. I am really hoping this place will help him out. He has been to jail, CRV and now here.

    • Tina, have you been able to get in touch with your son? the Da in my nephews case is recommending the Dart program and we just are not sure. There are so many different reviews on this place – anything you can add?

  26. Judge approved my son for DART..he is in prison..does he go during his active sentence, or once hes released? He has 9 months left of his sentence.

  27. So thankful for the positive comments. Thank you for easing my mind. My son goes on the 19th. I pray that he will get the help he needs. He has been clean for 100 days and he already looks and feels so much better. I know this is a hard road a head of him, but as long as he wants the help and keeps his faith, I know God can heal him. Thank you and may God Bless and be with all the staff who chose to take a job to help addicts get well and succeed. As his mother, I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I hope he will be too.

  28. If I have 6-17 month split sentence…but being sent here thru probation…how much time could the 90 day program credit me?

  29. Just need to know how to open an account for my son he is already there thanks can somebody help me

  30. Can residents in DART Cherry have visitors or call loved ones during their 90 days there?

  31. Can anyone tell me if you are on probation and orderedoto go to The DART program if you have to provide a clean urine screening beforehand? (In other words can you go there with narcotics still in your system? And if not and they will still accept you will you get even more violations thrown at you form probation and courts?)

  32. Hi, My grandson left today for the Dart Cherry program. He wanted to go. He wants the help. I have a prayer chain going for him and I am believing he will do good. I am so excited for him. When he left he was so happy and at ease. I heard him laugh last night for the first time in a week. He had just found out he was going today. he is worth saving from this addiction he has and I hope he will be helpful to others. I want to encourage others to get the help they need. Can’t wait to see this miracle in the making. God is all over this! Thanks Libby Whitaker