What makes drug crime court different than a traditional court?

What makes drug crime court different than a traditional court?

If you are facing criminal allegations for drug crimes in Maryland, your
case may have been sent to a special drug court. The Drug Treatment Court
Commission was created in October 2003 by judicial order, and it has been
assisting certain types of defendants ever since. Drug courts are designed
to help and rehabilitate those who are accused of
drug offenses, rather than offering a serious punitive model like most traditional courtroom
environments.

In drug court, your legal team and the court itself are working together
to achieve a comprehensive goal of restoring you to society without ongoing
criminal behavior. The idea behind drug court is to rehabilitate, not
to reach “legal justice” like that sought in traditional court.
Individualized drug treatment programs are provided, and relapses are
subject to graduated sanctions rather than being considered an entirely
new crime.

Drug court is not a given for individuals who are facing drug offenses.
Only a certain percentage of defendants accused of specific types of crime
may be eligible for this special type of courtroom proceeding. This collaborative
proceeding is non-adversarial and is guided by group decisions, including
input from judges and defense attorneys alike. Experts say that drug courts
provide a “comprehensive approach” to reducing drug crime
by helping defendants recover rather than punishing them.

Not every criminal defendant deserves to have the book thrown at them in
response to their alleged drug offenses. In fact, sometimes serious consequences
do more harm than good for those accused of drug possession. Drug diversion
programs and other drug court options provide fair, just alternatives
to the rigorous standards imposed in a traditional criminal courtroom.

Source: Maryland Courts, “Drug Treatment Courts” Aug. 04, 2014