A Practitioner’s Guide to Constitutional and Legal Issues in Adult Drug Courts

Produced in partnership with the Center for Justice Innovation, this guide is intended to help practitioners identify and navigate the major legal issues that arise in adult drug courts. It is organized in a chronological fashion that follows the typical drug court process from start to finish, exploring the legal issues that arise at each stage.

  • Chapter 1 discusses drug court eligibility and the legal implications of excluding certain individuals.
  • Chapter 2 addresses the drug court admissions process, including plea agreements, waivers of rights, and participant contracts.
  • Chapter 3 explores many of the common requirements that drug courts impose on participants, including community service, geographic restrictions, and employment requirements.
  • Chapter 4 looks at the unique operational features of drug courts such as drug testing, cross-agency information sharing, staffing meetings, and intermediate sanctions in response to participant noncompliance.
  • Chapter 5 considers drug court termination hearings and sentencing.
  • Chapter 6 addresses special rules for pre-plea drug courts.

Throughout this guide, the authors offer practice recommendations in areas where the law is unsettled or especially complex. These recommendations are the authors’ best advice for complying with the law while also operating an effective drug court that adheres to evidence-based practices.

Date: 2023