Specialty Courts are problem-solving court sessions that provide court-supervised probation and mandated treatment. The use of specialty courts has increased significantly in the last few years throughout the country. Specialty courts focus on substance use disorder (drug courts), mental health issues (mental health courts) and veterans’ issues (veterans treatment courts). Judges in drug court sessions typically impose a strenuous regimen of treatment and accountability, and require a strong personal commitment from defendants to take control of their life situations and eliminate drug use.
The key elements to an effective drug court program include: intensive probation supervision, frequent drug testing, participation in treatment and therapeutic activities, and careful monitoring of progress by the drug court judge.