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Subst Use Misuse. 2002;37(12-13):1469-88.

A dozen years of drug treatment courts: uncovering our theoretical foundation and the construction of a mainstream paradigm.

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  • 1Alameda County Superior Court, 24405 Amador St., Hayward, CA 94544, USA.


The creation of the first drug treatment courts were in response to the revolving door of drug use and recidivism. There was no theoretical basis for these courts and no universal support for them. Twelve years have brought incredible changes. Therapeutic jurisprudence says, in essence, whether intended or not, that legal rules and procedures have therapeutic effects. Drug treatment courts have adopted principles of TJ to enhance their functioning. The Conference of Chief Justices recently issued a resolution supporting "problem-solving" courts. New trial court standards legitimize drug courts' procedures. Drug treatment courts are now mainstream and can no longer be seen as "boutique" courts staffed by renegade judges. Working therapeutically is an appropriate, effective, and productive way for the justice system to function.

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