Drug Treatment Courts have the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through a system involving comprehensive supervision, mandatory drug testing, treatment services (and other therapeutic interventions) and immediate sanctions and incentives.
The objective of Drug Treatment Courts is to reduce substance abuse, crime and recidivism through the rehabilitation of persons who commit crimes to support their substance dependency. Drug Treatment Courts provide the focus and leadership for community-wide, anti-drug systems, bringing together criminal justice, treatment, education and other community-based partners in the reduction of substance dependency, abuse, criminality and related harm.
Drug Treatment Courts reflect the following internationally recognized Drug Treatment Court principles, tailored to the needs of individual jurisdictions.
- Drug Treatment Courts integrate addiction treatment services with justice system case processing
- Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ Charter rights
- Eligible participants are identified early and placed in the Drug Treatment Court program as promptly as possible
- Drug Treatment Courts provide access to a continuum of drug, alcohol and other related treatment and rehabilitative services
- Compliance is objectively monitored by frequent substance testing
- A coordinated strategy governs Drug Treatment Court response to participants’ compliance and non-compliance
- Swift, certain and consistent sanctions or rewards for non-compliance or compliance
- Ongoing judicial interaction with each Drug Treatment Court participant is essential
- Monitoring and evaluation processes measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness
- Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective Drug Treatment Court planning implementation, and operations
- Forging partnerships among courts, treatment and rehabilitation programs, public agencies and community based organizations generates local support and enhances program effectiveness
- Ongoing case management providing the social support necessary to achieve social reintegration
- Appropriate flexibility in adjusting program content, including incentives and sanctions, to better achieve program results with particular groups such as women, indigenous people and minority ethnic groups
For more information on the specific program elements of the DTC nearest you please visit our DTCs in Canada page.