Drug/DWI Courts

As a response to the increase of drug and alcohol-abuse offenders in the criminal justice system and the level of recidivism, drug courts have been created to help alleviate caseload pressures, as well as expand to embrace the therapeutic jurisprudence model. This topic addresses the issues of planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating drug court programs.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.

Featured Links


  • Huddleston, C. West and Douglas B. Marlowe Painting the Current Picture:  A National Report Card on Drug Courts and Other Problem Solving Court Programs in the United States. (June 2016). National Drug Court Institute. This report provides a summary of the 2014 national survey of drug court and other problem solving courts.  The report includes national survey data analysis on graduation rates, number of participants, costs, legislation and funding, and racial and ethnic minority representation. The report found 3,057 treatment courts operating in 2014.
  • Young, N.K., Breitenbucher, P., & Pfeifer, J. Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines. (2013). This report provides guidance for implementing a Family Drug Court as a collaborative effort between the court, child welfare, substance abuse treatment providers, and the community with a focus on improving services to families who are involved with the child welfare system and are affected by substance use disorders.
  • Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy. (2012). Minnesota Department of Human Services. This report presents a statewide strategy for reducing substance abuse. The strategy involves a coordinated statewide effort to tackle substance abuse and addiction and calls for a multi-agency, multi-faceted approach that includes making the expansion of Drug Courts a priority.
  • Marlowe, Douglas B. and Judge William G. Meyer (Ret.), Eds. The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook. (February 2011). National Drug Court Institute. This judicial benchbook provides extensive information on the history of drug courts, starting a new drug court, legal and constitutional requirements, judicial ethics, effective treatment approaches, valid drug-testing procedures, and community corrections practices.
  • Monchick, Randy, Anna Scheyett, and Jane Pfeifer Drug Court Case Management: Role, Function, and Utility. (June 2006). National Drug Court Institute. This monograph presents a general overview of the role, key functions, principles, knowledge, and skill sets required for effective case management in the drug court setting.
  • Fox, Aubrey, and Greg Berman. Going to Scale: A Conversation About the Future of Drug Courts. (Fall 2002). Court Review 39, no. 3: 4. An article that discusses drug court integration between states and localities. Strategies for accomplishing this are outlined in a forum-like discussion.
  • Drug Court Clearinghouse Project. American University, School of Public Affairs, Justice Programs Office. This project has been operating since 1994 and maintains a clearinghouse of publications on various topics related to drug courts and substance abuse. The site also includes an interactive map with information on drug court activity around the country.  The map includes breakdowns by state and county, juvenile drug courts, and tribal drug courts.
  • National Drug Court Institute. National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Membership and outreach organization for over 2100 drug courts across the nation.




  • Nipps, Emily Federal Grant Helps Pinellas County Run Nations First Drug Court for Women. (March 2010). St. Petersburg Times. A $900,000 federal grant allows this drug court team to provide a program specifically designed to treat female substance abusers.
  • Veteran’s Treatment Court. (December 2010). Office of National Drug Control Policy. Ten jurisdictions have been awarded 2010 Veterans Treatment Court Planning Initiative (VTCPI) grants. The communities selected are in Orlando, Florida; Cincinnati, Ohio; Augusta, Georgia; San Antonio, Texas; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Kew Gardens, New York; Klamath Falls, Oregon; Elmira, New York; Batavia, New York; and San Diego, California.
  • A Historic Day for Drug Courts. (March 2009). National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). This NADCP alert provides updates on federal funding and activity related to drug courts.  “We have achieved the largest annual federal appropriation in the history of Drug Courts, 63.9 million in 2009, a 250% increase over last years mark.”
  • Reilly, Dennis & Atoundra Pierre-Lawson Ensuring Sustainability for Drug Courts:  An Overview of Funding Strategies. (April 2008). National Drug Court Institute. This publication presents examples of creative sustainability strategies developed by drug courts around the country. In addition to funding sources, the report looks at education, planning, and leadership development.
  • Drug Courts Funding Model. (2006). National Center for State Courts. Chart provides state and county drug court programs, their funding source(s) (federal, state, local, donations, and participant fees), and partnerships formed between the court and other entities to ensure the success of the program.
  • Boone, Donna and Daniel Becker. Crafting a Plan: Sustaining Indiana`s Drug Courts. (March 2005). Statewide Technical Assistance Bulletin,Volume 4. National Center for State Courts’ consultants worked with Indiana Judicial Center (IJC) staff to map a multifaceted process for obtaining needed support and funding of the state’s drug courts.

Juvenile and Family

  • Engage, Involve, Empower: Family Engagement in Juvenile Drug Courts. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. This brief provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for successful engagement of families in the juvenile drug treatment court process based on the results of a nationwide survey of professionals involved in juvenile drug treatment courts, mental health courts, and hybrid courts.
  • Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines. (December 2016). OJJDP. This report introduces the evidence-based protocol used to translate existing research about juvenile drug courts and related interventions into measurable guidelines.
  • Blair, Lesli et al. Juvenile Drug Courts: A Process, Outcome, and Impact Evaluation. (May 2015). OJJDP Juvenile Justice Bulletin. The study’s findings do not generally support juvenile drug courts since most sites saw higher rates of recidivism for drug court youth when compared with youth on probation. Most of the drug courts studied did not adhere closely to evidence-based practices which may partly explain the poor results.
  • Young, N.K., Breitenbucher, P., & Pfeifer, J. Guidance to States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines. (2013). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs. This publication provides guidance to help states and programs create family drug courts that implement effective policies for courts and child welfare and treatment service systems, and community‚Äźbased organizations serving parents, children, and families.
  • Eugene Curtin. An Invitation to Success: Zero to Five Family Drug Treatment Court. (2008). National Center for State Courts, Future Trends in State Courts 2008. This article discusses how children five years old and younger make up one-fourth of all children in foster care—and have a greater risk of developing behavioral problems than children in more stable homes.  The Zero to Five Family Drug Treatment Court provides a unique forum for treating substance-abusing parents, improving their parenting skills, and reuniting them with their children.
  • Healing the Youngest Children: Model Court Community Partnerships. (March 2007). Child Court Works, ABA Center on Children and the Law. This article describes four model court community partnerships that apply research to court practices to improve outcomes for maltreated infants, toddlers, and their families.



  • Steadman, H.J. et al. Six Steps to Improve Your Drug Court Outcomes for Adults with Co-Occurring Disorders. (April 2013). National Drug Court Institute. This fact sheet provides information to effectively work with participants with a dual diagnosis of both a substance use disorder and a mental illness.
  • Cheesman II, Fred, Denise Dancy, and Ann Jones.An Examination of Recidivism of Offenders Receiving Services from the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. (August 2004). There are 24 Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) District Offices operating throughout Virginia.  The report provides an assessment of their success in reducing the incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Drug Courts 2020: A Strategic Plan for Virginia's Drug Treatment Courts. (2011). Supreme Court of Virginia, Office of the Executive Secretary. The mission of Virginia's Drug Treatment courts is to provide a judicially-supervised, cost-effective, collaborative approach for handling court-involved individuals with substance use disorders that promotes public safety, ensures accountability, and transforms participants into productive members of the community.
  • Arkansas Drug Courts. (2007). Arkansas Division of Drug Courts. Program Eligibility Requirements, Treatment Requirements and Enrollment Statistics from July 2005 through December 2006.  This resource provides statistics about the use of drug courts for an 18-month time period in Arkansas.
  • Adult DUI/DWI Treatment Court Programs. (2007). Maryland Drug Courts, Office of Problem Solving Courts. Maryland's guidelines for planning and implementing an adult DUI/DWI treatment court program  It covers planning for a drug-treatment court, developing program operational procedures, and addressing policy issues.