What is the drug court system in Florida?


Getting charged with possessing, selling or trafficking marijuana in Florida will probably see you end up in drug court. This type of special setting sees better outcomes for those who are sentenced there. The first drug court was created in Florida in 1989 in the Miami-Dade area. Now, because this court was set up, there are over 2,700 drug courts in America that deal with subjects like drug abuse, mental illness and other issues that extend beyond drugs.

Studies have been done to research whether or not the drug court concept has helped with such subjects as reducing crime, providing better treatment outcomes and even the cost effectiveness of the court. The news is good. The courts have reached these goals and more.

Florida has a history of being proactive when it comes to addressing drug-related crime. In 1993, the Florida Legislature allowed for pretrial substance abuse education and for treatment intervention programs for nonviolent felony drug users and sellers. Having an attorney who knows how this system works can definitely be a positive decision. This person knows not only the law but the specific drug court you are in.

In 2001, the Florida Legislature stated that it intended for a drug court to be placed in each judicial circuit in an effort to reduce crime in that area and to prevent recidivism, neglect cases and abuse cases. The family dysfunction can be broken by intervention by the drug court. There is judicial supervision, treatment, accountability and sanctions if you don’t follow the leadership of the drug court. The success of this court system cannot be overstated.

There is a drug program team that works in the Office of the State Courts Administrator’s Office of Court Improvement. It was created in order to bring forward the development and expansion of the drug courts throughout Florida.

Source: Florida Courts, "Drug Courts," accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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