Drug Courts

Drug Courts & Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration

Services Made Available to Clients by Drug 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.

Clients Enter Drug Courts At Different Points In The Process Depending On The Court

(Clients Enter Drug Courts At Different Points In The Process Depending On The Court) "Problem-solving courts varied by the point at which they intervene in a case. Some courts took cases that had reached a specific processing stage, while others took on cases at multiple processing points. Additionally, problem-solving courts accepted multiple case types and identified different entry points for criminal or civil and family cases.

Prior Offenses and Eligibility for Drug and Problem Solving Courts

(Prior Offenses and Eligibility for Drug and Problem Solving Courts) "Participants had to meet certain criteria to be accepted into a problem-solving court. In 2012, most problem-solving court participants with a history of violent (57%) or sex (65%) offenses were ineligible (figure 2). Domestic violence and veterans courts were exceptions to this pattern. The majority of domestic violence courts accepted participants with a history of violent crime (89%) or sex offenses (88%). The majority of veterans courts (62%) accepted participants with a history of violence."

Potential Problems in Expanding Court-Ordered Treatment Without Sufficient Expansion of Capacity

"Proposition 36 has successfully brought a large number of drug-abusing offenders to treatment in a very short time period, many for the first time.15,17 Although this is an important first step, positive therapeutic effects require clients’ engagement in appropriate treatment over a sufficient period of time,8 and positive outcomes depend on services that effectively address clients’ multiple needs.19–22 Treatment capacity expansion for Proposition 36 offenders was observed mostly in ODF [Outpatient Drug Free] programs, often with short planned durations, w

Displacement of Voluntary Treatment Clients by People Undergoing Court-Ordered Treatment

"Proposition 36 introduced an unprecedented number of clients into California’s drug treatment system. Overall treatment admissions increased by 11% to 34% during the first year in 4 of the 5 counties studied, with an 11% increase statewide. No parallel increases have been observed in drug use prevalence14 or in drug law enforcement15 during these periods.

Problems of Systemic Racial Biases Within Drug Courts

(Problems of Systemic Racial Biases Within Drug Courts) "Importantly, representation of African-Americans in jails and prisons was nearly twice that of both Drug Courts and probation, and was also substantially higher among all arrestees for drug-related offenses. On one hand, these discrepancies might be explained by relevant differences in the populations. For example, minority arrestees might be more likely to have the types of prior convictions that could exclude them from eligibility for Drug Courts or probation.

Hispanic or Latino Defendants In US Drug Courts

"On average, Spanish, Hispanic or Latino(a) persons were reported to represent 10% of Drug Court participants nationwide. However, there was considerable variability across jurisdictions. In some Drug Courts, such as those in Puerto Rico, nearly all of the participants were reported to be of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino(a) ancestry, whereas in others, individuals with these ethnic backgrounds were reported to be virtually absent (see Table 5)."

Pages