Drug Courts

Topics: Crime, Judge, Court systems Pages: 2 (827 words) Published: May 4, 2010
The drug court is a unique effort that uses the occasion of a drug offence arrest as an intervention opportunity for drug offenders even though historical problems in criminal justice diversion and referral programs the Dade County success rates have shown that these problems can be overcome through unique collaborative relationships, innovative treatment design, and the elimination of conventional gaps in the referral- treatment-monitoring process. It is the purpose of this paper to explore the concept that drug courts are a far more effective method of punishment for drug offenders than the traditional route of incarceration. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 provided a potential one billions dollars for the subsequent five years to set up drug courts. As jurisdictions move forward in the establishment of such courts, it is essential to consider the conceptual and clinical elements that have made drug courts successful in drug rehabilitation and crime prevention far more than incarcerations. The first drug court in Dade County, Florida, created in 1989, was the prototype. The three-phase Miami program for first and second cocaine offenders begins with arrest and overnight incarceration in the Dade County Stockade, and appearance the following morning before the drug court judge. The program was developed under the direction of Dade County Superior Court Judge Herbert Klein, with the assistance of Michael Smith, MD, and Director of Substance Abuse. After two years of the drug court's operation, 4296 felony drug possession arrestees had been diverted to the program. Of these, 1600 had graduated the three-phase program with a 3% re-arrest rate 1153 were still in the program with a 7% re-arrest rate; 500 had their charges dismissed after program entry; and 1043 failed to comply with the program. Also, 90% of the arrestees who were offered the program accepted the program the other 10% were arraigned in regular Supreme Court no...
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