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Since the implementation of the first drug court in Dade County Florida in 1989, drug court programs have spread to every state in the union and now number over 1600 nationwide.
They have spread so rapidly and so far due to their remarkable success in reducing the recidivism of substance abusing offenders. There are more than 28 drug courts in operation in New Mexico, whose success rate is even better than the national average, and leadership in the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of government have all voiced strong support for continued growth of these unique programs.
Here in the Twelfth Judicial District, we are fortunate to have both Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts that serve adults, children and families both in Lincoln and Otero Counties. A drug court is a specially designed court program that focuses on offenders whose appearances (often repeated) before the criminal justice system are due to an underlying problem with substance abuse. Drug Courts are a multi-disciplined, court-mandated, and court-supervised substance abuse treatment program. Drug Courts combine intensive out-patient treatment with rigorous drug testing and intensive community monitoring to eliminate substance abusing behaviors and, by that, reduce the likelihood that they will re-offend. Drug Court programs also promote academic achievement, gainful employment, family involvement, and moral living. Drug Court participants are awarded incentives or sanctions based on their progress and compliance and are recognized with a graduation ceremony upon completion.