"Standard drug court programs usually run between six months and one year, but many participants remain for longer because they must complete the entire program cycle in order to graduate. Program completion entails being drug and arrest?free for a specified period of time and meeting such other obligations as securing housing or employment. Participants frequently meet with the drug court judge and other judicial and clinical staff in status meetings aimed at monitoring each individual’s progress.14 Participants are regularly drug tested and receive rewards or face sanctions based on how well they follow the rules of the court. Rewards can include verbal praise, certificates or other tokens of approval, as well as moving to the next level of supervision, which may include less frequent visits to the court. Sanctions can include everything from verbal admonishment and writing essays to spending time in jail or being kicked out of the program and facing traditional sentencing."


Walsh, Natasha, "Addicted to Courts: How a Growing Dependence on Drug Courts Impacts People and Communities," Justice Policy Institute (Washington, DC: March 2011), p. 3.