History and Function of Drug Courts Essay

2233 Words 9 Pages
Drug courts were first established in Miami in 1989 and have continued to grow today. Over the past twenty-four years, drug courts have provided a treatment-orientated approach to help defendants with drug-related crimes. The constant interaction of the drug court provides the needed structure for participants to maintain their involvement in the program. Understanding the overall goals of the drug court and the outcomes of participants in the drug court program are the key factors in measuring the success of the drug courts.
To begin, drug courts were established in Miami in 1989 during the “war on crime” era. According to Cooper (2003), “the immediate goals of the drug court were to reduce the recidivism rate of these defendants while
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Drug courts were able to reduce the criminal activity and provide substantial benefits for drug court participants. It is important to look at the development of the first drug court in Miami because it is the foundation of the drug courts today and with the success of the Miami drug courts, other courts were adopting the methods to improve their own drug dockets.
Drug courts today are still continuing to grow. Cooper (2003) stated, “drug courts now have been operating in the United States for more than a dozen years and over 800 programs have been implemented and 500 more are being planned” (p. 1673). The expansion of drug courts has made an impact on the court system as well as the participants. After an offender is charged with a drug related crime, their criminal history will be screened to determine their eligibility for drug court. The screening is an important process because a defendant is being analyzed to determine if drug court can be a possibility to for the defendant. There are some requirements a defendant must pass before being considered into drug court. Cooper

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