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Improving the Court Response to Drug Cases: A Program Assessment

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
96 pages
This survey of recent court efforts to respond to drug cases identifies and assesses the range of court responses and develops a national agenda of issues and future directions to guide policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.
To capture current salient issues raised by the drug- treatment orientation of many programs, two populations were surveyed in each site. One population was composed of court officials (judges, probation officers, administrators, etc.). Their answers to the survey questions provide a portrait of the programs from the perspective of the judiciary. The second population surveyed consisted of the administrators of drug treatment programs whose client base included offenders sent them by the courts. The survey explored issues that arise regarding treatment providers when courts attempt to address the social and health problems of an offender at the same time they adjudicate the criminal behavior. The second objective develops a national agenda, or set of issues, to guide policymakers, practitioners, and researchers as jurisdictions continue to experiment with innovations in this area. The findings of this program assessment suggest that policymakers, practitioners, and researchers involved with improving the court response to drug cases need to define and prioritize the goals of drug court programs; learn more about the varieties of ways in which integrated program implementation is occurring across organizations; and identify what it takes to achieve and sustain effective integrated planning and operations. 189-item annotated bibliography and 14 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1995