Drug court definition from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_court
Drug courts represent the coordinated efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities to actively and forcefully intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime. As an alternative to less effective interventions, drug courts quickly identify substance abusing offenders and place them under strict court monitoring and community supervision, coupled with effective, long-term treatment services.
In this blending of systems, the drug court participant undergoes an intense regimen of substance abuse and mental health treatment, case management, drug testing, and probation supervision while reporting to regularly scheduled status hearings before a judge with specialized expertise in the drug court model (Fox & Huddleston, 2003). In addition, drug courts may provide job skill training, family/group counseling, and many other life-skill enhancement services.
No other justice intervention brings to bear such an intensive response with such dramatic results; results that have been well-documented through the rigors of scientific analysis. From the earliest evaluations, researchers have determined that drug courts provide "closer, more comprehensive supervision and much more frequent drug testing and monitoring during the program than other forms of community supervision. More importantly, drug use and criminal behavior are substantially reduced while offenders are participating in drug court" (Belenko, 1998; 2001). To put it bluntly, "we know that drug courts outperform virtually all other strategies that have been attempted for drug-involved offenders" (Marlowe, DeMatteo, & Festinger, 2003). (Excerpt from the National Drug Court Institute: http://www.ndci.org)
Statistic from http://www.ndci.org/research
Drug Courts Today
2,301 Drug Courts in operation as of December 31, 2008