Failure of the Probation System and the Growth of Drug Courts in the US
"Another reason for the proliferation of drug courts is the failure of probation departments to adequately address the needs of clients with addictions. Some of the same mechanisms drug courts use (treatment services, supervision, and case management) have traditionally been part of probation. But as the number of people on probation continues to grow and caseloads increase, probation departments complain that they do not have the resources or time to dedicate to their clients and provide the services their clients need to be successful and stay away from the criminal justice system.23 Drug courts can be more resource intensive,‡ but do basically the same thing as probation departments are tasked with doing — provide case management and treatment resources while under criminal justice supervision. And often, probation and parole officers are more limited in the options they have to respond to either positive achievements or relapses than drug court judges."
Walsh, Natasha, "Addicted to Courts: How a Growing Dependence on Drug Courts Impacts People and Communities," Justice Policy Institute (Washington, DC: March 2011), p. 5.