History And Impact Of Drug Treatment Courts

1471 Words Apr 15th, 2015 6 Pages
The History and Impact of Drug Treatment Courts
Tincen Vithayathil
University of Baltimore

The History and Impact of Drug Courts Between 1990 and 1999, individuals who were convicted of a drug crime rose past 100,000, which accounted for 20 percent of our nation’s increased prison population (Lurigio, 2008). Between 1995 and 2003, the number of drug-related offenders constituted the largest increase of criminals in our nation’s prison population (Lurigio, 2008). In 2004, approximately 50 percent of state prisoners were known to be substance abusers or have drug dependency (King & Pasquarella, 2009). During these years, drug offenders were crowding dockets, prisons, and nearly the entire criminal justice system (Lurigio, 2008). Due to the expensive cost of handling such cases and the difficulty of changing the habits of drug abusers, community based programs were introduced to slow the drastic increase of drug-related incarcerations (Lurigio, 2008). According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Americans owed nearly 32 billion dollars toward criminal justice expenses, 31 billion dollars toward lost productivity, and three billion towards property damage in 1998 (King & Pasquarella, 2009). These chain of events built the foundation for Drug Treatment Courts (DTC) here in the United States. The origin of the first-ever drug court was located in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1989 (King & Pasquarella, 2009). DTC programs maintain…
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