Drug Courts And The Criminal Justice System

1506 Words Apr 29th, 2016 7 Pages
Drug courts are considered to be one of the most successful innovations to be implemented in the criminal justice system. It was first implemented during the height of the drug war hysteria and the long epidemic of the skyrocketing rates of incarceration. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (2010), drug courts are a “specially designed court docket, whose purpose is to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent substance abusing offenders and to increase the offender’s likelihood of successful habilitation through, continuous, and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, community supervision, and use of appropriate sanctions and other rehabilitation services”. Drug Courts were first launched in 1989 by the Miami-Dade County area of Florida. A local prosecutor by the name of Janet Reno and a few other criminal justice professionals grew tired of seeing the same faces and same cases reappear in court so their solution to the problem was to combine drug treatment within the court-like structure. The number of drug courts since then have proliferated to nearly 3,400 across the United States as of June 2014 (NIJ, 2015). More than half target adults and a growing number of juveniles, families, veterans, and various other case types. The innovation of drug courts alters how the court system handles and monitors drug involved cases and integrates the treatment aspect into their primary goals. Drug courts…
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