Given the ineffectiveness and high cost of standard treatment diversion programs, in recent years the U.S. has found more success with specialized drug courts. Drug courts have proven to be more effective compared to treatment with standard probation where ongoing drug use often goes undetected. Drug courts give offenders the option to go to jail, but most choose treatment. This requires regular drug tests and appearing before a judge where either ‘swift and certain sanctions’ are applied for those testing positive or praise is given for staying clean.

One study found that for those who successfully completed a drug court program, re-arrest rates were 35% less likely than for offenders processed through traditional courts. Given their success, drug courts have grown rapidly in the U.S. with over 3,133 as of 2015, and many more are planned for operation.

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Posted by Anaïs Faure