Drug courts seek to halt the revolving door of addiction and crime by linking addicted offenders to drug treatment and rigorous judicial monitoring. They bring together judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and court staff in a collaborative effort to address the offender’s underlying substance use disorder and enforce compliance with court orders. Drug courts also use a system of graduated incentives and sanctions to help substance abusers achieve and maintain a drug-free life. Today, thanks to well-established evidence that drug courts reduce substance abuse and recidivism—including a groundbreaking study by researchers from the Center for Court Innovation—there are approximately 3,000 drug courts in the United States. The Center for Court Innovation has been an active player in the drug court field, developing New York City's first drug court, providing technical assistance across the country, and advancing knowledge through research. In recognition of this work, the Center received the National Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a drug court, click here.
With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Center has created a new home on the Internet for state court administrators looking for help institutionalizing drug courts in their states. Visit drugcourtta.org to find resources, information and strategies for administering drug courts on a statewide basis. This includes help with planning, operations, evaluations and data collection.