Defining Drug Courts: The Ten Key Components

From: Painting the Current Picture: A National Report Card on Drug Courts and Other Problem Solving Court Programs in the United States, 2005

1. Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing.

2. Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due rights.

3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.

4. Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.

5. Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.

6. A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.

7. Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.

8. Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.

9. Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation, and operations.

10. Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations generates local support and enhances drug court program effectiveness.

NDCI is sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency, National Institute of Justice & the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation & U.S. Department of Justice.

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