New York State Drug Courts represent the coordinated efforts of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service and treatment communities to actively and forcefully intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime. As an alternative to less effective interventions, drug courts quickly identify substance abusing offenders and place them under strict court monitoring and community supervision, coupled with effective, long-term treatment services.
In this blending of systems, the drug court participant is assigned a case manager who coordinates an intense regimen of substance abuse and mental health treatment, drug testing and probation supervision while reporting to regularly scheduled status hearings before a judge with specialized expertise in the drug court model (Fox & Huddleston, 2003). In addition, drug courts may provide job skill training, family/group counseling and many other life-skill enhancement services.
New York state leads the nation in the expansion and institutionalization of drug courts into daily court operations. Chief Judge Judith Kaye recognized the benefits of the program and had the vision to ask that it be implemented in every jurisdiction in the State. As of January 6, 2009, there were 148 drug courts in operation. The operational drug courts are from family, juvenile, criminal, town and village courts.