Problem Solving Courts successfully confront emerging issues for our nation and provide services that keep people out of prison and save tax-payer dollars. The first example of a problem solving court program was Drug Court. The first drug court was established in Miami-Dade County in Florida and now, a year shy of celebrating 30 years, drug court programs are operating in every state and US territory. Drug Courts combine drug treatment with the structure and authority of the judicial system.
According to information from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
There are many different types of drug court programs, including family and juvenile programs. The newest problem solving court to emerge is the Veterans Treatment Court model. Veterans court is a merger of drug and mental health courts designed to meet the specific needs of our active duty military and veterans. The first Veterans court was established in Buffalo, New York and to date there are more than 250 throughout the nation with hundreds more in the planning stages.