Special court programs to deal with specific types of cases exist in every state. “Accountability Courts” or “Problem-Solving Courts” or “Therapeutic Courts” are special court programs that use treatment and social services in lieu of incarceration. We’ve covered specific types over the years: Drug Courts here and here, Mental Health Courts, Family Dependency Treatment Courts, and Veterans Courts.
These programs include intensive supervision by a team that includes the judge, and have proven to reduce recidivism and save their jurisdictions money, because treatment is less expensive than jail. Offenders with substance abuse and/or mental health problems … Read More
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
Contrary to stereotypes of hard-nosed prosecutors and stern judges, not every District Attorney or criminal court judge is out to lock up every lawbreaker for the maximum term. In every state, there are programs designed to keep offenders out of jail and to steer them away from future offenses. We’re all familiar with probation, which substitutes supervision for jail time.
In recent years, other types of alternative approaches have been implemented. We’ve documented several of them: Mental Health Courts, Drug Courts, Juvenile Diversion, Veterans Courts, Adult Diversion, Family Dependency Treatment Court, and Traffic School… Read More
Problem-Solving Courts – also known as Accountability Courts – are programs developed by many court systems to impose treatment plans and other forms of rehabilitation on some criminal offenders who would otherwise face jail time and the stigma of a criminal record. They reduce the judicial system caseload and the prison population while helping offenders with drug, mental health, and similar problems. We covered Mental Health Courts in April 2008, Drug Courts in October 2008, and Veterans Courts in January 2011.
Family Dependency Treatment Courts are another type of Accountability Court, and they’re different in that their treatment plans include … Read More
Should someone with a drug problem be sent to prison with murderers and rapists or should they receive alternative methods of combined punishment and treatment? This is one of the many issues addressed by the use of a specialty court, called a Drug Court. A specialty court is a court operating within the jurisdiction of another court. However, the Drug Courts offer more than just a separate division to hear specific cases. Drug Courts create an alternative form of adjudication for people involved in illegal drug activity. These courts are a unique combination of the judicial system, social services, and … Read More