Specialty Courts for Substance Abuse

Specialty courts for substance abuse cases, commonly called drug courts, are an attempt to address the revolving-door problem of nonviolent offenders with substance dependency issues. Without these courts, substance-abusing persons are likely to repeatedly go in and out of correctional facilities with their chemical abuse or dependence issues unresolved. The types of drug courts may vary based on their primary clientele. Some of these clientele categories are adults, juveniles, veterans, child welfare cases, persons charged with driving while intoxicated, tribal cases, and college students. The belief, then, is that specialty courts are a means of incorporating the public health aspect of the problem into the response, while not removing the criminal justice interest in holding persons accountable for their conduct. The legal philosophy, as ...

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