Overview of Specialty Courts Nationwide Survey Conducted in 2014 (Marlowe et al., 2016)

Drug Court
Mental Health Court
Veterans’ Treatment Court

Overview of Specialty Courts Nationwide Survey Conducted in 2014 (Marlowe et al., 2016)

As of the end of December 2014, there were 3,057 drug courts in the U.S., which is a 24% increase in five years

  • 41% of drug courts followed a hybrid model (post-plea diversion and post-sentencing), 27% followed a post-sentencing or term of probation model, 26% used post-plea or deferred sentencing and only 6% used pre-plea diversion or deferred prosecution

The number of DUI courts in the U.S. increased by 52% in five years

  • On average, DUI courts reduce DUI recidivism and general criminal recidivism by about 12%; the benefits of DUI courts appear to last for at least four years

62 drug courts closed in 2014 for various reasons including, insufficient funding, insufficient referrals, insufficient treatment and supervision resources, loss of interest by judiciary

Veterans treatment courts increased 14 fold from 2009-2014, including state, territorial, and federal veterans treatment courts and specialized tracks for veterans in traditional drug courts or mental health courts

Generally, there were 1,311 problem solving courts other than drug courts in the U.S., which was a 10% increase over the previous 5 years. The most prominent included mental health courts, truancy courts and domestic violence courts.


Brown, R.T. (2010). Associations with substance abuse treatment completion in drug court. Substance Use and Misuse, 45, 1874-1891. doi:  10.3109/10826081003682099

Marlowe D.B., Hardin, C.D, Fox, C.L.  (2016). Painting the current picture: A national report on drug courts and other problem-solving courts in the United States. Alexandria, VA: National Drug Court Institute. https://www.ndci.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Painting-the-Current-Picture-2016.pdf

Roll, J.M., Prendergast, M., Richardson, K., Burdon, W. & Ramirez, A. (2005). Identifying predictors of treatment outcome in a drug court program. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 31, 641-656. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-200068428