Drug Courts:

Information on a New Approach to Address Drug-Related Crime

GGD-95-159BR: Published: May 22, 1995. Publicly Released: May 22, 1995.

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GAO provided information on drug courts, a new approach used to monitor defendants' drug use, treatment, and behavior.

GAO found that: (1) in exchange for reduced charges, drug using defendants can be diverted to drug courts where judges monitor their progress through frequent status hearings; (2) drug court programs vary in length, participant eligibility, funding, and other practices; (3) as of March 1995, there were at least 37 drug courts operating nationwide; (4) 33 drug courts have accepted over 20,000 defendants; (5) most drug courts do not accept violent offenders; (6) drug courts have not been operating long enough to determine their overall effectiveness; and (7) although the 1994 Crime Act authorized $1 billion to support drug court programs from fiscal year (FY) 1995 through FY 2000, Congress has proposed repealing the drug court grant program.

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