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Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use

  • Organization: Drug Policy Alliance
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
  • Submitted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
  • Attachment(s): LINK

Drug Courts are Not the Answer finds that drug courts are an ineffective and inappropriate response to drug law violations. Many, all the way up to the Obama administration, consider the continued proliferation of drug courts to be a viable solution to the problem of mass arrests and incarceration of people who use drugs. Yet this report finds that drug courts may not reduce incarceration, improve public safety, or save money when compared to the wholly punitive model they seek to replace. The report calls for reducing the role of the criminal justice system in responding to drug use by expanding demonstrated health approaches, including harm reduction and drug treatment, and by working toward the removal of criminal penalties for drug use.

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