Eligible drug-addicts may be sent to Drug Court in lieu of traditional justice system case processing. Those Courts keep individuals in treatment long enough for it to work, while supervising them closely. For a minimum term of one year, participants are:
- Provided with intensive treatment and other services they require to get and stay clean and sober
- Held accountable by the Drug Court judge for meeting their obligations to the court, society, themselves and their families
- Regularly and randomly tested for drug use
- Required to appear in court frequently so that the judge may review their progress
- Rewarded for doing well or sanctioned when they do not live up to their obligations.
Eligibility for Drug Court varies according to state and local guidelines, and on the type of Drug Court model (For example, currently most Drug Courts in the nation are adult criminal ones, which, along with DUI Courts, function within the adult criminal justice system and target adult offenders. Family Drug Court participants, however, are parents facing child abuse/neglect charges in civil court. For more information, see Drug Court Models).
Some state legislatures or regulatory bodies have created eligibility guidelines for them. Although eligibility guidelines vary, most of those courts do not consider violent offenders. Adult criminal Drug Courts usually consider both drug and drug-driven offenses. And where offenses involve victims, the consent of the victim and payment of restitution is typically mandatory. If you wish to find more information on a specific court’s eligibility guidelines, see the National Drug Court Map for contact information on the court.
They serve a fraction of the estimated 1.2 million+ drug-addicted people currently involved in the justice system. To truly break the cycle of drugs and crime in America, we must put a Drug Court within reach of every American in need.