The first Drug Court was in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1989. Tired of the same faces and the same cases repeatedly appearing before the court, a visionary group of justice professionals decided that the system as it existed was broken and there had to be a better way.
They found a solution by combining drug treatment with the structure and authority of the judge. Working as a team, they were able to effect lasting change in the lifestyle and behavior of Drug Court participants.
The Miami-Dade Drug Court sparked a national revolution that has forever changed our justice system. Ten years after the first Drug Court was founded, 492 Drug Courts existed. By June 30, 2012 2,734 Drug Courts were operating in every U.S. state and territory.
Because of Drug Court millions of lives have been transformed. Today, the Drug Court movement continues to spread throughout the country and the world.
This success has spawned a new generation of problem-solving court programs that are successfully confronting emerging issues for our nation. For example, Veteran's Treatment Courts are adapting to the needs of our heroes from the armed services, who sometimes have difficulty adjusting to life at home or coping with combat-related stress, and may become involved in the justice system. Rather than ignore their plight, Veteran's Treatment courts provide the treatment and structure they need to resume productive lives. And Reentry Drug Courts are assisting individuals leaving our nation's jails and prisons to succeed on parole and avoid a recurrence of crime and drug abuse.