Drug courts are specialized, court-administered programs designed to provide treatment options for addicted offenders in the criminal justice system. There are over 2800 drug courts operating in all 50 states and U.S. territories; more than half serve adults with substance addiction and dependency. Other drug courts treat juvenile, veteran, and tribal offenders (as well as other targeted populations), but for the purpose of this article we will focus on adult offenders.
The first drug court was established in 1989 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Courts there and elsewhere determined that the era’s popular “war on drugs” policies were failing to impact … Read More