How Drug Courts Work

Lots More Information

Author's Note: How Drug Courts Work

As a journalist for many years, I covered town courts, state courts, county courts, city courts and federal courts. I was often stuck by the number of defendants with substance abuse problems. In one rather grizzly case, two brothers killed a friend for a fistful of dollars so they could buy drugs. In researching this story, I was amazed by how well drug courts combat drug addiction, while saving taxpayers money, which I suspect, are two reasons drug courts have bipartisan support across the political spectrum.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Carey, Shannon M., Ph.D., et. al. "California Drug Courts: Outcomes Cost and Promising Practices: An overview of Phase II in a Statewide Study." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. "Nov. 3, 2006. (March 11, 2018).
  • Drug Policy Alliance. Moving Away from Drug Courts: Toward a Health Centered Approach to Drug Use. May 2014. (March 27, 2018).
  • Frailing, Kelly. Scholars Strategy Network. "The Achievements of Specialty Courts in the United States." April 2016. (March 27, 2018).
  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals. "The Facts on Drugs and Crime in America." (March 10, 2018).
  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals. "Historic Funding for Treatment Courts." (March 23, 2018). March 27, 2018
  • National Center for State Courts. "Opioids and the Courts News." Feb. 7, 2018. (March 9, 2018).
  • National Criminal Justice Service. "Drug Courts - Grants and Funding." March 27, 2018.
  • National Institute of Justice. "Evaluating Treatment Drug Courts In Kansas City, Missouri and Pensacola, Florida: Final Reports for Phase I and Phase II." March, 2002. (March 11, 2018).
  • The Economist. "America's first opioid court is working well." Oct. 19, 2017. (March 8, 2018).
  • Urban Institute. "The Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation: The Drug Court Experience." Nov. 2011. (March 9, 2018).
  • Westervelt, Eric. "To Save Opioid Addicts, This Experimental Court is Ditching the Delays." Oct. 5, 2017. (March 8, 2018).
  • Williams, Timothy. "This Judge Has a Mission: Keep Defendants Alive." The New York Times. Jan. 3, 2018. (March 8, 2018).
  • "Crisis Court. An Inside Look." Sept. 14, 2017. (March 8, 2018).