“Last July, after commuting the prison sentences of 46 non-violent federal drug offenders, President Barack Obama turned his sights to the local level.
In a speech to a Philadelphia gathering days after the “ground-breaking” commutations, Obama called for greater investment in prison diversion programs, like drug courts, which operate locally to get smaller-scale drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons. Obama said the courts “ultimately can save taxpayers thousands of dollars [per defendant] each year.”
It is an approach that has become increasingly popular with law enforcement officials and politicians looking for new strategies in the 40-year-old and “floundering” War on Drugs.
This article looks at the growth of U.S. drug courts over the last 3 decades, their impact, realized benefits and where critics say they fail to go far enough.”
Source: PennLive.com – June 23, 2016