What is a Drug Court?
Drug Courts are specially designed court calendars that provide an alternative to traditional criminal justice prosecution for non violent drug-related offenses. These courts combine close judicial oversight and monitoring with probation supervision and substance abuse treatment services.
The goals of these programs are:
- reduce recidivism and substance abuse among substance abusing offenders and
- increase the offender's likelihood of successful rehabilitation.
Using collaborative court principles (California's Collaborative Justice Courts, pg. 14), drug courts serve as a catalyst to modify traditional treatment-delivery systems to design more effective interventions for addressing problems of addiction and recidivism.
Adult drug courts provide access to treatment for substance-abusing offenders in criminal, dependency, and family courts while minimizing the use of incarceration. They provide a structure for linking supervision and treatment with ongoing judicial oversight and team management.
The majority of drug courts include initial intensive treatment services with ongoing monitoring and continuing care for a year or more. Dependency drug courts address substance abuse issues that contribute to removal of children from the care of their parents. Drug courts in family court address the impact of substance abuse on child custody and visitation.