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Institutionalizing Drug Courts: A Focus Group Meeting Report

NCJ Number
Susan Tashiro; Victoria Cashman; Barry Mahoney; Ed Brekke; Caroline Cooper; Mary Durkin; Mack Jenkins
Date Published
March 2002
8 pages
This report outlines the principal themes and ideas that emerged from a focus group meeting on institutionalizing drug courts.
The Justice Management Institute (JMI) in cooperation with the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice called on the experience and expertise of 35 participants drawn from a broad range of courts and other institutions and organizations involved in or affected by the work of drug courts. Focus group participants, which included administrators with responsibility for overall State court systems or local trial court operations and drug court practitioners, were asked to address five main issues: the meaning of "institutionalization" in the context of drug courts at this stage of their development; the experience to date with efforts to obtain long-term stable funding for drug courts; the main obstacles to developing stable funding for drug courts; the most promising strategies that drug court leaders and their allies can use to overcome obstacles and develop stable long-term funding for well-functioning drug courts; and the characteristics of successful drug courts that can and should be brought into much wider use in courts and justice systems. This report is organized into sections that address these issues, and draw on discussions at the focus group meeting. Although the report reflects intensive discussion among the participants and contains valuable information, insights, and suggestions, it is not a comprehensive discussion of the complex topic of drug court institutionalization.