What are Drug Courts? The most effective justice strategy addressing the drug-addicted and mentally ill. How Drug Courts Work?
Eligible drug-addicted persons may be sent to Drug Court in lieu of traditional justice system case processing. Drug Courts keep individuals in treatment long enough for it to work, while supervising them closely. For a minimum term of one year participants are:
1. Provided with intense treatment and other services they require to get
and stay clean and sober.
2. Held accountable by the Drug Court Judge for meeting their obligations
to the court, society, themselves and their families.
3. Regularly and randomly tested for drug use.
4. Required to appear in court frequently so that the judge may review
5. Rewarded for doing well and sanctioned when they do not live up to
What Drug Courts Do. Drug courts are the most effective justice intervention for treating drug-addicted people. Drug courts reduce drug use. Drug Courts reduce crime. Drug Courts save money. Drug Courts restore lives. Drug Courts save children and reunite families. Who is Eligible?
Eligibility for Drug Court varies according to state and local guidelines, and on the type of Drug Court model (For example, currently most Drug Courts in the nation are adult criminal Drug Courts, which, along with DWI Courts, function within the adult criminal system and target adult offenders. Family Drug Court participants, however, are parents facing child abuse/neglect charges in civil court).
Some state legislatures or regulatory bodies have created eligibility guidelines for drug courts. Although eligibility guidelines vary, most Drug Courts do not consider violent offenders. Adult criminal Drug Courts usually consider both drug and drug-driven offenses. And when offenses involve victims, the consent of the victim and payment of restitution is typically mandatory.
Drug Court History The first Drug Court was in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1989. Tired of the same faces and the same cases repeatedly appearing before the court, a visionary group of justice professionals decided that the system as it existed was broken and there had to be a better way.
They found a solution by combining drug treatment with the structure and authority of the judge. Working as a team, they were able to effect lasting change in the lifestyle and behavior of Drug Court participants.
The Miami-Dade Drug Court sparked a national revolution that has forever changed our justice system. Ten years after the first Drug Court was founded, 492 Drug Courts existed. By January 1, 2010 2,459 Drug Courts were operating in every U.S. state and territory.
Because of Drug Court millions of lives have been transformed. Today, the Drug Court movement continues to spread throughout the country and the world.
This success has spawned a new generation of problem-solving court programs that are successfully confronting emerging issues for our nation. For example, Veteran's Treatment Courts are adapting to the needs of our heroes from the armed services, who sometimes have difficulty adjusting to life at home or coping with combat-related stress, and may become involved in the justice system. Rather than ignore their plight, Veteran's Treatment courts provide the treatment and structure they need to resume productive lives. And Reentry Drug Courts are assisting individuals leaving our nation's jails and prisons to succeed on parole and avoid a recurrence of crime and drug abuse.
For more information on drug courts throughout the nation click here for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
For Information on the Elko County Drug Court Contact