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54 Ct. Rev. 14 (2018-2019)
Looking Backward, Looking Forward: How the Evolution of Specialty Courts Can Inform the Courts of Tomorrow

handle is hein.journals/ctrev54 and id is 14 raw text is: 




Looking Backward,


   Looking Forward:

 How the Evolution of Specialty Courts

   Can Inform the Courts of Tomorrow


LOOKING BACKWARD
   The war on drugs in the 1980s led to more punitive drug-
related legislation and exponential increases in arrest and
incarceration rates. In 1980, there were 580,900 drug violation
arrests. In 1989, the number of drug-related arrests increased
to more than 1.3 million.' The substantial increase in arrests,
many which were nonviolent, overburdened courts and
resulted in increasingly overcrowded prisons. Laypersons and
legal actors became frustrated with the traditional approach to
case processing and the revolving door of repeat drug-related
offenders.2 In response to burgeoning dockets and prisons and
drug-related recidivism, Miami-Dade County, Florida opened
the country's first drug court in 1989.

THE DRUG COURT MODEL
   Miami-Dade County's Drug Court integrated substance use
treatment and legal sanctions to divert defendants out of
prison and expedite case processes. To this end, the Miami-
Dade County Drug Court targeted non-serious (e.g., posses-
sion), non-violent felony drug offenders and charged judges
with long-term treatment adherence oversight.3, 4 Judges held
frequent hearings with participants and closely monitored
their rehabilitation progress. If participants successfully com-
pleted (graduated) the program (e.g., series of negative drug
test results, no additional arrests), they could have their
charges reduced or case dismissed. If participants failed to
comply, they faced a variety of sanctions, including incarcera-
tion.5 Participation was voluntary such that arrestees could
plead guilty and choose to participate in the program, or they


could choose the standard legal proceedings (e.g., plea bar-
gaining or trial).6
   Miami-Dade County's Drug Court was considered an inno-
vative alternative to incarceration and the business as usual
criminal justice approach to drug-related crime. The Drug
Court was lauded for its collaborative efforts with drug treat-
ment and social service agencies, and its emphasis on address-
ing underlying problems associated with criminal activity.
Despite this, some considered this early attempt to lack coher-
ence and coordination7 Nevertheless, the Miami-Dade County
Drug Court served as an exemplar for all future Drug Court
models.
    Evolving Drug Courts incorporated additional services,
such as job placement, public health, education and vocational
training.8 Some jurisdictions also shifted their focus from less
serious to more serious offenders.9 The Drug Court model is
now defined by 10 Key Components, which jurisdictions must
comply with to receive federal funding.10 Currently, there are
over 1,300 drug courts in operation in the U.S. Although
drug courts have evolved, it was the early or first generation
models that facilitated a more therapeutic approach to crime
and the advent of numerous distinctive problem-solving
courts.

THERAPEUTIC JURISPRUDENCE
   Although the Miami-Dade County Drug Court was not
specifically modeled within a therapeutic jurisprudence frame-
work, the court's approach exemplified therapeutic jurispru-
dence principles.12 Therapeutic jurisprudence is concerned


Footnotes
1. Drugs and Crime Facts, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATS. (Feb. 6, 2018),
   https://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/enforce.cfm.
2. Hon. Peggy Fulton Hora, A Dozen Years of Drug Treatment Courts:
   Uncovering Our Theoretical Foundation and the Construction of a
   Mainstream Paradigm, 37 SUBSTANCE USE & MISUSE 1469, 1470
   (2002).
3. CAROLINE S. COOPER, ET AL., INTER-AM. DRUG ABUSE CONTROL COM-
   M'N, ESTABLISHING DRUG TREATMENT COURTS: STRATEGIES, EXPERI-
   ENCES AND PRELIMINARY OUTCOMES, VOLUME ONE: OVERVIEW AND
   SURVEY RESULTS 6-7 (Apr. 2010).
4. Arthur J. Lurigio, The First 20 Years of Drug Treatment Courts: A
   Brief Description of Their History and Impact, 72 FED. PROBATION
   13, 15 (2008).
5. Greg Berman & John Feinblatt, Problem?Solving Courts: A Brief
   Primer. 23 LAW & POLICY 125, 126 (2001).
6. Lurigio, supra note 4.


7. Id.
8. COOPER ET AL., supra note 3, at 7.
9. David Olson et al., Implementing the Key Components of Specialized
   Drug Treatment Courts: Practice and Policy Considerations, 23 LAW
   & POLICY 171 (2001).
10. WEST HUDDLESTON & DOUGLAS B. MARLOWE, PAINTING THE CURRENT
   PICTURE: A NATIONAL REPORT CARD ON DRUG COURTS AND OTHER
   PROBLEM-SOLVING COURT PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES 14 (July
   2011).
11. SUZANNE M. STRONG ET AL., BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATS., CENSUS OF
   PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS, 2012   1  (2016), available at
   https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pd/cpscl2.pdf.
12. Bruce J. Winick & David B. Wexler, Therapeutic Jurisprudence as
   an Underlying Framework, in JUDGING IN A THERAPEUTIC KEY: THER-
   APEUTIC JURISPRUDENCE AND THE COURTS 105, 106 (Bruce J. Winick
   & David B. Wexler, eds., 2003).


14 Court Review - Volume 54


I                                   Tatyana Kaplan, Monica K. Miller & Emily F. Wood

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