Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts

Drug courts address the issues underlying criminal behavior, such as drug or alcohol substance use disorder and/or mental illness.
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Table of Contents

Overview

Drug courts provide intensive, supervised probation and mandatory treatment, as well as random drug testing with progress monitored by a supervising probation officer. The court works with treatment providers, which provide clinical assessments, develop and monitor treatment placements, and identify ancillary counseling, case management and outreach services.

Massachusetts Juvenile drug courts follow the Reclaiming Futures model, a proven methodology that enlists the child’s family, school, and community support systems to create an individualized treatment program that addresses the child’s substance use disorder and antisocial behavior.

Locations

Massachusetts has 27 adult drug courts and 3 juvenile drug courts.

The District Court operates 23 adult drug court sessions in:

The Boston Municipal Court holds 4 drug court sessions in:

Juvenile drug courts operate in:

Drug Court Manuals

For more information regarding drug courts for adults and juveniles, please see the corresponding manuals, provided here in PDFs.

Additional Resources

Facts and Statistics

Specialty courts, especially drug courts, have been the subject of intense research and debate. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals cites the following facts on their website:

Drug Courts Reduce Crime

  • Nationwide, 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.
  • Rigorous studies examining long-term outcomes of individual drug courts have found that reductions in crime last at least three years and can endure for over 14 years.
  • The most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options.

Drug Courts Save Money

  • Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
  • When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested.
  • Drug courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.

Drug Courts Ensure Compliance

  • Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely.
  • Drug courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community-based supervision programs.
  • Drug courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.

Contact

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Last updated: April 23, 2018

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