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Drug Court

Purpose and Background of Drug Treatment Courts

Drug treatment courts, sometimes simply referred to as “drug courts”, are specially designed, treatment focused programs. The purpose is to reduce recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent, drug addicted, chronic criminal offenders. Stated another way by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, drug courts are “a sentencing alternative that provides life-saving treatment to people living with serious addiction and mental health conditions.”

Key facts about drug treatment courts:

  • A drug treatment court involves a collaborative effort in which judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, probation agents, and treatment providers work together as a team.
  • Drug courts save money by keeping offenders out of prison and assisting them to become clean, sober, responsible citizens.
  • Currently there are over 2,300 drug treatment courts in all 50 states.
  • Drug court programs are based upon evidence gathered over the past 20 years from courts all over the country.
  • Research based evidence reveals that drug courts are most successful when they are based upon established principles – 10 Components (See list on this website).

For more information about drug treatment courts visit the following websites:

  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals at
  • [on Facebook]
  • National Drug Court Institute at

This project was supported by Byrne JAG #15PBJA-21-GG-00248-MUMU awarded to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Michigan State Police, and administered by the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) State Court Administrative Office (SCAO). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MSC, MSP, or DOJ.