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Drug Courts

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

Table of Contents


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 has 31 adult drug courts.

The District Court operates 28 adult drug court sessions in:

The Boston Municipal Court holds 3 drug court sessions in:

Drug Court Manual

For more information regarding drug courts for adults, please see the corresponding manual, 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   for Drug Courts


Specialty Court Locations Find your Specialty Court 
Last updated: October 7, 2021

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