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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 179531 Find in a Library
Title: American Drug Courts: A Common Sense Approach to the Drug-Using Offender
Author(s): Jeffrey Tauber
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Assoc of Drug Court Professionals
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: National Assoc of Drug Court Professionals
1029 N. Royal Street
Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper explains how drug courts work, how they are different from most American courts, and the underlying principles that make them successful.
Abstract: The drug court judge recognizes the limitations of judicial coercion as a drug rehabilitation tool and rejects the notion that program failure is necessarily the result of the willful defiance of judicial authority. Drug court judges have adopted a new pragmatic judicial intervention strategy. This strategy relies on the development of an ongoing, working relationship between the judge and the offender and the use of both positive and negative incentives to encourage compliance with a drug treatment plan. In a drug court, communications between judge and offenders are crucial. By increasing the frequency of court hearings as well as the intensity and length of judge/offender contacts, the drug court judge becomes a powerful motivator for the offender's rehabilitation. A successful drug court depends on the willingness of the judge and staff to work together as a team. The defense attorney rarely intervenes between the judge and the offender. The prosecuting attorney adopts a conciliatory position. All court staff view their job as the facilitation of the offender's rehabilitation. It takes more than increased funding and full judicial support to create an effective drug court program. Successful drug courts are based on an understanding of the physiological, psychological, and behavioral realities of drug abuse and are implemented with these realities in mind. Such programs recognize that drug abuse is a serious debilitating disorder, that relapse and intermittent progress are a part of most successful drug rehabilitation, and that a drug user is most susceptible to successful intervention when he/she is in crisis. Features of an effective drug court are immediate and up-front intervention; coordinated, comprehensive supervision; long-term treatment and aftercare; and progressive sanctions and incentives. More traditional societies and cultures, because of their strong cultural and family ties, are in an excellent position to develop uniquely effective drug court models.
Main Term(s): Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Case processing; Drug law offenses; Drug offenders; Drug treatment; Judges; Judicial discretion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=179531

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