Seventy-eight percent of those incarcerated in America have
a substance abuse problem.
Traditional criminal justice procedures are not equipped to deal with
the contemporary drug crisis and needs for treatment. Probation officers
Court dockets are crowded with unprecedented numbers of drug-related cases.
Rather than capitulate to such overwhelming problems courts have
embraced a new model for the processing of drug cases and rehabilitation
Drug Courts give defendants the opportunity to participate
in mandatory drug treatment programs, and then closely monitors participation.
The Drug Court is a comprehensive systematic approach to dealing with
the needs of defendants with drug problems. It separates nonviolent offenders
with substance abuse problems from the more violent offenders who require
incarceration. It also separates serious and less serious substance abusers
for the appropriate treatment.
Re-arrest among drug court graduates is considerably lower than among
those who do not complete the program. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals 70% of the Drug Court defendants finish the programs, and 75% are not rearrested within two years.