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AA Guidelines for Cooperating with Court,
D.W.I. and Similar Programs

From the AA web site

AA will clam it has no part in Coercion and at the same time tell it's members how to approach the Courts to get them to force people into the AA Cult.

AA wants it's cake and eat it to.

Coercion would not be happening if AA hadn't started making it happen a very long time ago.

In the USA we have a Constitution that protects us from just such a thing.

Where are the Lawyers??

Judges force people into a Religious Cult and answer to No One.

If people can be forced into one Religious Cult then why not others?

Scientology -- Moonies --

In 1942, members from San Francisco brought the first A.A. meet-
ing into San Quentin Prison at the request of Warden Clinton T.
Duffy. This example led to A.A.’s cooperation with court systems,
including direct communications with judges and parole and proba-
tion officials. The sole purpose of this Twelfth Step work, then and
now, was to carry A.A.’s message to the still-suffering alcoholic. To
fulfill that purpose, A.A.s have learned how to share A.A. informa-
tion within court systems.
Probation and parole officers, as well as judges, often require peo-
ple involved in alcohol-related offenses to attend A.A. meetings.
Some A.A. members find it difficult to accept this “outside” policy in
light of our Third Tradition, “The only requirement for A.A. member-
ship is a desire to stop drinking.” Perhaps it’s helpful to remember
that our Traditions apply to us, and aren’t affected by the regula-
tions established by outside institutions—we cooperate without affil-
iating. By adhering to all Twelve Traditions, many groups welcome
each newcomer regardless of how they got to the meeting.
In recent years, a larger number of “safe driving” programs have
been set up for drivers in trouble with the law because of some
episode related to drinking. These programs have many different
names—such as Alcohol Safety Action Project (A.S.A.P.), Driving
While Intoxicated (D.W.I.), Driving Under the Influence (D.U.I.), and
the like. Many A.A. committees that cooperate with these programs
offer attendees a chance to learn about A.A., and some are now
members of A.A. as a result.
From Page 89 of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous: “Practical
experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from
drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other
activities fail.... You can help when no one else can.... because of your
own drinking experience you can be uniquely useful to other alco-
holics. So cooperate; never criticize. To be helpful is our only aim.”
Therefore, as long as carrying the message helps those of us
already in A.A. maintain our own sobriety, this kind of message-
carrying is a success. Our responsibility is to make the seed of A.A.
freely available. What the sufferer does with it is not our responsibil-
ity. Only one “statistic” interests us in A.A.—the next person who
may need our help.
In most cases, this general outline is followed by all court programs
for “alcoholic” offenders:
• Pretrial interview
• Release, conviction, or case continued (if conviction, sentence or
probation comes next)
• Court classes on alcoholism, regular (outside the court) A.A.
meetings, or incarceration
The offender under suspended sentence or on probation may be
required by the judge to attend meetings of one type or another.
The court class (sometimes called an honor court meeting) usually
meets in the court building, and may be one of three types:
1. Meetings about A.A., usually run by A.A. members, though
sometimes an officer of the court presides.
2. Meetings handled by several agencies, with a doctor explain-
ing alcoholism, and other professionals and/or volunteers talking
about alcoholism. Usually, at least one session is turned over to
A.A. members, who put on a “sample” A.A. meeting. They tell
briefly their own stories, and also tell how A.A. works. A.A. mem-
bers experienced at this say it is important to avoid criticizing any-
thing. These classes seem to work best when A.A. speakers
emphasize the benefits of sobriety and the A.A. way of life.
3. Meetings sponsored by domestic relations or family courts,
which may include sample Al-Anon and Alateen meetings held for
the spouse and children of the offender. These are separate from
the A.A. meetings, of course.
It is important to explain the difference between these court classes
and regular (outside) A.A. meetings, and to have A.A. literature on
hand at each session.
Meetings Outside the Court
Sometimes meetings become so big that they lead to the formation
of new, “outside” groups—regular A.A. groups which meet away
from the court building and choose a new name with no relation to
the court.
When some judges require offenders to attend regular A.A. meet-
ings, as a condition of the suspended sentence or probation, they
may be legally required to have each offender offer proof that he or
she attended the required number of meetings.
All of them, but these have been specially mentioned:
One—Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery
depends upon A.A. unity.
Two—For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a
loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
from G.S.O., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163
A.A. Guidelines are compiled from the shared experience of A.A. members in various service areas. They also reflect
guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada). In keeping with our
Tradition of autonomy, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole, most decisions are made by the group
conscience of the members involved. The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist in reaching an informed group conscience.
Cooperating with Court,
D.W.I. and Similar Programs
Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
Three—The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to
stop drinking.
Five—Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its mes-
sage to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Six—An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A
name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of
money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Ten—Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues;
hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Eleven—Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather
than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at
the level of press, radio, and films.
Twelve—Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions,
ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
A. Getting A.A. members involved.
Many A.A. members are not aware that this kind of Twelfth Step
work is available and that they can participate in it.
In some locales, this service is coordinated by the Committee on
Cooperation With the Professional Community (C.P.C.). Often
ongoing Twelfth Step work within the court system leads to a sub-
committee connected to the district or central office/intergroup.
It’s important to include enough A.A. members to cover A.A.
commitments in the court system without detracting from other
service work.
Usually, it is up to members of these committees to share this
experience with other A.A.s, so that more A.A.s understand how to
take part in this kind of Twelfth Step work. (See Which A.A.
Members are Best Suited... p.3)
B. Misunderstanding of these programs by A.A.s, and by the
Some A.A. members are upset when they hear about this Twelfth
Step service. For instance:
1. When such a program first starts, a small A.A. group may
have more newcomers than regular members at its meetings.
Some members feel their group is being “invaded.”
This can usually be solved by setting up a meeting with the judge
and members of several nearby groups, asking the judge to spread
the newcomers around among several “open” meetings.
One option, when many newcomers under court order turn up at a
meeting, is for the members to divide into small discussion groups,
with a few regulars sitting with each set of newcomers.
In any case, it is probably a good idea for the judge to refer people to
“open” A.A. meetings, in the event that some of those referred do not
believe themselves to be alcoholics. Often, providing the court with a
list of “open” meetings will avoid referrals to “closed” meetings.
2. Some members have the mistaken impression that such pro-
grams “affiliate” A.A. with outside enterprises, or constitute “endorse-
ment” by A.A. of a court or D.W.I. program. However, A.A.’s coopera-
tion with these programs no more constitutes “affiliation” or “endorse-
ment” than do A.A. meetings held in hospitals and prisons.
A.A. members involved in court classes, or meetings about A.A.,
explain that these are not regular A.A. meetings. It is pointed out
that A.A. is self-supporting, so A.A. groups do not accept rent-free
meeting rooms or literature furnished by any non-A.A. source, and
are totally independent of a court or other enterprise. It is shown
that A.A. groups do not force attendance, or keep attendance
records. Courts can do these things as they are not bound by the
A.A. Traditions.
C. Mandatory attendance at A.A. meetings.
All of us sober in A.A. know that to get well we really had to want it
for ourselves—eventually, if not at first. We could not stay sober
just because we were “required” to, or for anybody else.
Yet, in a real sense, every A.A. member is at first “sentenced” to
A.A., either by their employer, family, friends, doctor, or by their own
inner suffering. In A.A., we are not concerned about who or what
first sends the alcoholic to us. Our responsibility is to show A.A. as a
way of life, so that all newcomers who need it might want it.
D. The hostile attitude of some who are required by a law
enforcement agency to attend A.A. meetings.
Some of these newcomers originally approach A.A. very resentful
at having to be there. This is easy to understand. It is up to us to be
patient and tolerant toward the newcomer.
When sending offenders to A.A., one judge tells them about the
Fellowship and hands each one a small card showing information
about meetings, plus suggestions for behavior at A.A. meetings
including being on time, staying for the entire meeting, not being
disruptive, etc. When a judge is willing to do this, it helps to prevent
offenders arriving late, interrupting to demand signed attendance
cards, and otherwise disturbing the meeting.
E. Proof of attendance at A.A. meetings.
It is important for the judge to understand that attendance at A.A.
meetings does not guarantee anybody’s future sobriety.
Nevertheless, some judges require legal, written proof that offend-
ers have attended a certain number of meetings. Often, when the
court-ordered newcomer attends an A.A. meeting, the group secre-
tary (or other group officer) is happy to sign their first name, or to
initial a slip furnished by the court saying so-and-so was at the
meeting on a particular date.
All involved recognize that neither the group nor the members are
“bound” in any way by the signature, nor does this courtesy signify
affiliation of the group with any other program. It simply illustrates
In some areas, courts furnish cooperating A.A. groups with sealed,
stamped envelopes addressed to the court. In general, the secre-
tary of the group announces that anybody needing an envelope
may get it after the meeting. The newcomer takes the envelope,
privately writes his or her name and/or return address on it, and
mails it.
In other areas, each cooperating group has a sheet, furnished by
the court, that the secretary announces is available for court-
ordered newcomers to sign after the meeting. The secretary
mails the sheet (in envelopes furnished by the referring agency)
to the office sending prospects to A.A. Thus it is not the A.A.
group, but the prospect’s own signature which affirms he or she
was at the meeting.
It is important to note that an Advisory Action of the 1983 Conference
Committee on Cooperation With the Professional Community states
“A.A. does not provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers,
court officials, social agencies, employers, etc.”
F. Offers by an agency to pay A.A. members for taking prospects
to and from A.A. meetings.
It is important for A.A. members to explain to the agency officials
and judges that A.A. is strictly self-supporting (see Tradition
Seven) and that A.A. members do not accept money for Twelfth
(or any other) Step work (see Tradition Eight, on nonprofessional-
ism). We work with other alcoholics for our own sobriety, not for
money. It is our responsibility to make this clear to court-ordered
newcomers, too.
As A.A. members, we are not qualified to judge, endorse or oppose
any other program in the field of alcoholism, nor is it a good idea to
give the impression that we are professional, scientific experts. We
can help only with our own experience.
(Note: A.A. members who are hired to work as professionals in the
field of alcoholism are, of course, a different matter, since they are
paid for professional services. Even so, they are not paid to do
Twelfth Step work.)
Any A.A. member may join with other A.A.s in this valuable asset to
service. It seems that those who have been most successful at it
are A.A. members who:
— have several years’ continuous sobriety, serenity and stead-
fastness, mixed with a clear grasp of the purpose of Twelfth
Step work;
—have had wide A.A. experience, not only in more than one
group, but also in central office (intergroup) and general service
— have an understanding of A.A. experience recorded in the Big
Book, A.A. Comes of Age, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,
and other A.A. publications.
You’ve already made a good start by familiarizing yourself with this
material. Follow that up by finding out whether any other A.A.s in
your community are interested in and knowledgeable about
such programs.
See whether your local central office or area general service com-
mittee knows where such help is needed.
Talk it over with other A.A.s, and meet with some groups in the
community to inform them of your plans, and to see which groups
would be willing to cooperate, and in which ways. (Be patient—not
all members may be interested in this work; their feelings need to
be respected, as yours are.)
Once you have a nucleus of A.A.s, two or three of you might visit
with a local court official. Take along A.A. information, such as the
pamphlets “If You Are a Professional” and “A Brief Guide to A.A.,”
and offer to take the court administrators to an “open” A.A. meeting.
Relax. If this is the right time, the program will happen. If it doesn’t,
wait for a more appropriate opportunity.
“How A.A. Members Cooperate With Professionals”
“A.A. Tradition—How It Developed”
“The Twelve Traditions Illustrated”
“A.A. In Correctional Facilities”
“If You Are a Professional...”
“A.A. Membership Survey”
“Speaking at Non-A.A. Meetings”
“A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous
“Let’s Be Friendly With Our Friends”
“It Sure Beats Sifting in a Cell”
“Is There an Alcoholic in the Workplace?”
“A.A. in Your Community”
“Members of the Clergy Ask About Alcoholics Anonymous
Service Material and Guidelines
A.A. Fact File
Information on Alcoholics Anonymous
Sharing Experience on Coping With Influx of New Members
Guidelines (on) Cooperation With the Professional Community
Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous
It Sure Beats Sifting in a Cell
A.A.—Rap With Us
Carrying the Message Behind These Walls
Young People and A.A.
About A.A.
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Some may find this information disturbing or think of it as bashing, a group but The Truth Is The Truth and we have every right to share our Life Experiences because it might help the next person, by presenting information that is normally suppressed.

Why is this information suppressed and why is necessary to set up a web site to bring information that should be freely given to us from our free press and free media?

Where is our Free Press??

Where is our Free Media??


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AA Guidelines for Cooperating with Court, D.W.I. and Similar Programs

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