Drug courts resulted from a shift in the unsuc- cessful National Policy of “War on Drugs” of the 1970s and 1980s.The New Jersey Legislature also enacted the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986 (CDRA) for drug offenses (Presumption of Mandatory Incarceration, Mandatory Minimum Sentencing). Repeated drug offenders received extensive jail sentences.
The mission of drug courts is to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and related criminal activity. The program is based on a concept of Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
Drug courts are a highly specialized team process within the existing Superior Court structure that addresses non-violent drug-related cases. They are unique in the criminal justice environment because they build a close collaborative relationship between criminal justice and drug treatment professionals.
Drug court programs are rigorous, requiring intensive supervision based on frequent drug testing and court appearances, along with tightly structured regimens of treatment and recovery services.
The drug court judge heads a team of court staff, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators and treatment professionals who work together to support and monitor a participant’s recovery. They maintain a critical balance of authority, supervision, support and encouragement.
This level of supervision permits the program to support the recovery process, but also allows supervisors to impose appropriate therapeutic
There are four phases of progress for drug court participants:
• positive change,
• relapse prevention, and • commencement
Drug Court Programs became a permanent part of the State Judiciary in 2002 and operate in all 21 NJ counties. In 2010, Drug Court Program graduates achieved the following successes:
2. Using a non-adversarial approach;
3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in DC program;
4. Provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment;
5. Monitored abstinence by frequent alcohol and other drug testing;
6. A coordinated strategy;
7. Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant;
8. Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement;
9. Continuing interdisciplinary education to promote effective drug court planning, implementation, and operations;
10. Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based orga- nizations.
$38,900(state prison individuals)