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Team paper

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Pros and cons of using drug courts as a diversion strategy Before probing into the issue of discussing some pros and cons related to drug courts, wemust first get to know what drug courts actually are. “ Drug courts are specialized courts which deal with drug-related offenses” (Hartney, 2009). These are the courts which are given the responsibility of handling drug-using offenders’ cases. The main focus of drug courts is drug offenders. For the purpose of treating the drug offenders, drug courts use restorative justice approach instead of retributive justice approach in order to not only treat the patients but also to ease the caseload of such drug offenses which are brought to the courts. As the fields of criminal justice and drug offenders’ treatment are getting a lot of help from the drug courts, the number of drug courts all over the world is significantly increasing. Drug courts are improving the judicial system because they provide leadership for the treatment of offenders, provide supervision as a vital component of the drug courts and it also helps in improving communication between the offenders and the drug court teams.
While discussing drug courts, we must also discuss the pros and cons associated with drug courts. Some of the pros related to drug courts are:
1. They help offenders on a social, legal and medical basis while dealing with drug related issues with a belief that all underlying problems need to be addressed.
2. They help in rehabilitation of drug offenders, train them and help them in getting jobs after the treatment.
3. Chances to repeat offenses become very rare due to effective drug court programs.
4. Centrality of case management is demonstrated in drug courts.
5. Drug courts help in reducing the offenses by lowering re-arrests and provide more effective mechanisms of dealing with drug offenses.
Whereas the cons related to drug courts are:
1. No proper guidelines stating appropriate regulations are set for drug courts.
2. Number of drug courts in United States and other countries is very less.
Apart from the cons related to drug courts, drug courts are not only helping those people who are brought to such places by their relatives for the purpose of drug addiction treatment, but also it has proved to be a great place for such people who really want to get treatment, not a forced one by their relatives. Bewley-Taylor (1999) found that drug courts are important for drug offenders because they provide the offenders with such treatment programs which may result in dismissal of the charges and lesser penalties. A model drug court includes incorporation of drug testing into case processing, creation of an association between a defendant and the court, sending the defendants for treatment soon after identification, providing access to a range of not only treatment but also rehabilitation services and observing self-denial through drug testing. Nolan (2001) found that a single agency can’t alone tackle drug and crime offenders, so drug courts work in cooperation with judges, court personnel and treatment providers. A large number of drug court evaluations have been done over a decade mainly focusing on two outcomes; criminal recidivism and rates of retention and completion.
After discussing pros and cons of drug courts, it is recommended for the county to create an operational drug court which will not only help the government and the tax payers in saving money but also will help in reducing case load of judicial courts. Use of drug court for the county will also be beneficial because it will provide offenders with a drug free environment to get a proper treatment and rehabilitation instead of prisons where the offenders may get drugs from various hidden sources.
Hartney, E. (2009, February 20). What is a drug court?. Retrieved February 18, 2010, from http://addictions. about. com/od/legalissues/f/drugcourt. htm
Bewley-Taylor, D. (1999). The United States and International drug control, 1909-1997. New York, NY: Continuum.
Nolan, J. (2001). Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

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