drug courts

Number of Drug Courts in the US, By Type

"As of December 31, 2014, there were 3,057 drug courts in the United States, representing a 24% increase over the previous five years (Tables 3 and 4 and Figure 2). Adult drug courts were by far the most prevalent model, accounting for just over one-half of all drug courts. Other prevalent models included juvenile drug courts (14% of all drug courts), family drug courts (10%), veterans treatment courts (9%), and DUI courts (9%). The remaining models each accounted for less than 3% of drug courts.

Availability and Utilization of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts

"Virtually all drug courts (98%) reported that at least some of their participants were opioid-dependent in 2010. Prescription opioids were more frequently cited as the primary opioid problem than heroin (66% vs. 26%). This trend is particularly apparent in less densely populated areas: prescription versus heroin rates across the three population areas were: rural (76% vs. 12%), suburban (67% vs. 33%), and urban (prescription opioids less likely to be selected than heroin as the primary opioid; 38% vs. 50%); p < .01.

Services Made Available to Clients by Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, and Standard Courts in the US

According to a census of courts in the US:
Substance abuse treatment services are provided to clients in 86.8% of all courts overall, 95.5% of all drug courts, and 77.1% of all mental health courts.
Integrated substance abuse and mental health treatment services are provided to clients in 60.4% of all courts overall, 62.5% of all drug courts, and 85.5% of all mental health courts. Medication as a treatment strategy is available in 28.1% of all courts overall, only 22.5% of all drug courts, and 59.9% of all mental health courts.

Overview of Drug Courts and Problem Solving Courts in the United States

"In 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) Census of Problem-Solving Courts (CPSC) counted 3,052 problem-solving courts in the United States (figure 1). The most common types of problem-solving courts were drug courts (44%) and mental health courts (11%) (figure 1). Most courts (53%) reported that they were established prior to 2005, including drug (64%), youth specialty (65%), hybrid DWI/drug (63%), and domestic violence (56%) courts.

Drug Courts Can Lead to 'Net-Widening' and Increased Arrests

"Net-widening refers to 'an expansion in the number of offenders arrested and charged after the implementation of [a drug court] because well-meaning police and prosecutors now believe there to be something worthwhile that can happen to offenders once they are in the system (i.e., treatment instead of prison).'387 When drug courts are created, police in some cities have arrested more people and prosecutors have filed more charges.388

Drug Courts and Therapeutic Jurisprudence

"Drug courts are an application of therapeutic jurisprudence theories in which the judge does not ask whether the state has proven that a crime has been committed but instead whether the court can help to heal a perceived pathology.9 Drug courts adopted the disease model10 that posits that people struggling with drugs have a chronic disease that reduces their ability to control their behavior.11"

Comparison of Pre-Adjudication and Post-Adjudication Drug Court Models

"There are generally two models for drug courts: deferred prosecution programs and post-adjudication programs. In a deferred prosecution or diversion setting, defendants who meet certain eligibility requirements are diverted into the drug court system prior to pleading to a charge. Defendants are not required to plead guilty and those who complete the drug court program are not prosecuted further. Failure to complete the program, however, results in prosecution.