Drug Courts

Drug courts combine intensive judicial supervision, mandatory drug testing, treatment and incentives to help offenders with substance abuse problems break the cycle of addiction and crime.

Drug court teams are typically lead by a judge and include a prosecutor, defense counsel, treatment provider, probation officers, law enforcement and court coordinator who work together to support and monitor a participant's recovery. They maintain a critical balance of authority, supervision, support and encouragement.

Court programs require intensive supervision based on frequent drug testing and court appearances, and implement tightly structured treatment processes and recovery services. This high level of supervision allows supervisors to react swiftly to impose appropriate sanctions or reinstate criminal proceedings when participants do not comply with the program.

PADCP

Pennsylvania's first drug court lead to the creation of the Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals (PADCP), an advocate for the establishment of drug courts throughout the Commonwealth. Learn more.

Adult Drug/DUI Court Accreditation Program

The objective of the accreditation process is to assess a problem solving court's adherence to the 10 Key Components of Drug Courts, which are the nationally recognized framework for program operation. Close adherence to these components has a direct correlation with program outcomes.

Where They Are Located

Allegheny Berks Blair Bradford Bucks Butler Chester Clarion Clinton Columbia Cumberland Dauphin Delaware Erie Indiana Lackawanna Lancaster Lawrence Luzerne Lycoming Mifflin Montgomery Montour Northumberland Philadelphia Snyder Sullivan Union Warren Washington Wyoming York courts
Allegheny
Berks
Blair
Bradford
Bucks
Butler
Chester
Clarion
Clinton
Columbia
Cumberland
Dauphin
Delaware
Erie
Indiana
Lackawanna
Lancaster
Lawrence
Luzerne
Lycoming
Mifflin
Montgomery
Montour
Northumberland
Philadelphia
Snyder
Sullivan
Union
Warren
Washington
Wyoming
York
Allegheny
Berks
Blair
Bradford
Bucks
Butler
Chester
Clarion
Clinton
Columbia
Cumberland
Dauphin
Delaware
Erie
Indiana
Lackawanna
Lancaster
Lawrence
Luzerne
Lycoming
Mifflin
Montgomery
Montour
Northumberland
Philadelphia
Snyder
Sullivan
Union
Warren
Washington
Wyoming
York
County Courts

current as of July 2014

The Key Components of Drug Courts

  • Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing.
  • Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.
  • Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.
  • Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol and other drug and related treatment and rehabilitation services. 
  • Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.

 

  • A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.
  • Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.
  • Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
  • Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation and operations.
  • Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies and community-based organizations generates local support and enhances drug court effectiveness.