The Role of Law Enforcement and Probation in the Drug Court Strategy


What is the role of law enforcement and probation in the drug court strategy? What are the major issues in service coordination? What are some of the recommendations made based on experiences of other communities that used drug courts to address methamphetamine abuse? Write a paper on your findings.


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Criminal Justice Paper

12 November 2015.

            Law enforcement and probation play a critical role in the drug court strategy. To begin with, it is through law enforcement that multijurisdictional task forces are able to mobilize resources in order to enhance manpower levels in underserved areas (Huddleston 1). This often happens to be the case in rural areas, where drug courts often get overwhelmed with the tasks of managing the risks as well as the specific needs of various methamphetamine users. Assisting the drug courts is an important undertaking because these courts are performing a crucial duty of providing a long-term response to the methamphetamine use crisis. Law enforcement agencies have a critical role to play in the drug court strategy, which involves the pairing of effective treatment strategies with the justice system’s coercive power.


            A number of issues relating to service coordination tend to arise during the enforcement of the drug court strategy. For instance, treatment requirements tend to be intensive, and participants must also be assisted with other problems such as vocational services and anger management. After graduation, they must also be given aftercare support. Effective service coordination in all these matters requires the delivery of evidence-based treatment services, comprehensive case management, and proper use of cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment. Methamphetamine using populations must also be assisted with simultaneous treatment for various co-occurring physical health challenges, mental problems, and relapse prevention. Towards the realization of these objective, a lot of emphasis today is on the need to maintain telephone contact with the reformed methamphetamine users on a monthly basis.

            Experience shows that although drug courts are not the sole solution to the methamphetamine addition problem, they have made a crucial contribution in terms of restoring communities, reuniting families, reducing recidivism, and reducing recidivism in communities where methamphetamine has caused untold havoc (Rossman 40). One important recommendation is that drug courts should continue being promoted because they provide added accountability and enhanced service coordination in addition to providing a long-term solution to the problem of methamphetamine addition through evidence-based treatment.

            It is also recommended that local policymakers can achieve even better results by clarifying the role of law enforcement in the operations of drug courts. Additionally, the criminal justice system should place more emphasis on the enhancement of workforce capacity especially in rural areas where numerous inefficiencies tend to occur due to a shortage of probation and police officers. The need to address workforce problems keeps cropping up during analyses of experiences because intensive supervision is a fundamental element in the operations of drug courts. Ongoing supervision throughout the treatment process is a mandatory requirement since the affected individuals are offenders who happen to have been involved in drug use (Wilson, Mitchell and MacKenzie 479). There are many activities of drug courts that warrant the recruitment of more probation and police officers. Examples of these activities include regular judicial status hearings, frequent contact between addicts and their case managers, direct interaction with drug court judges, drug testing, and the administration of incentives and sanctions.


            Once the problem of addiction has been addressed, drug courts should shift their attention to addiction prevention. This goal can be achieved by educating members of the community on the dangers of methamphetamine abuse as well as ways of adopting health behaviors. The educational initiatives should be community driven, whereby former methamphetamine addicts are encouraged to enlighten the community on the dangers of addiction as informed by their personal experiences. Such campaigns against methamphetamine use should primarily target vulnerable groups such as youths. Lastly, regular conferences that bring stakeholders should be organized with the objective of setting addiction prevention agenda.

Works Cited

Huddleston, West. Drug Courts: An Effective Strategy for Communities Facing Methamphetamine. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2005. Online.

Rossman, Shelli., Zweig, Janine., Kralstein, Dana., Henry, Kelli., Downey, Mitchell and Lindquist, Christine. The Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation: The Drug Court Experience. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2011. Print.

Wilson, David., Mitchell, Ojmarrh and MacKenzie, Doris. “A systematic review of drug court effects on recidivism.” Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2.4 (2006): 459-487.

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