• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Drug Courts

Drug court programs began in the late 1980s in response to the nation's escalating problem of drug possession, use, sales, and drug-related criminal offenses. Traditional judicial efforts to stem the escalation of drug use included harsher legal penalties for drug use and drug-related crimes, court-mandated treatment for criminals upon release from incarceration, and increasingly severe court-ordered sanctions for relapse, recidivism, or failure to follow mandatory treatment. Unfortunately, these traditional efforts at reducing drug use and drug-related crimes proved to be ineffective.

Harsher penalties equated to increased levels of incarceration in jail and prison while awaiting trial and upon adjudication. In 1999, almost 33% of all offenders released from state prisons had drug use histories, and by 2004, 37% of defendants in criminal cases were adjudicated ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles