Chapter 5: Diverting Drug Offenders to Treatment Courts: The Portland Experience
Diverting drug offenders to treatment courts: The Portland experience The criminal justice system of Multnomah County (Portland), Oregon has a recent history of developing new ways to process felony drug offenders. Even prior to the establishment of a drug court, key criminal justice and other public officials had embraced drug treatment as an important option for drug-involved offenders and had experimented with various programs aimed at reducing drug use by offenders and incorporating rehabilitation into the court process. For various reasons, however, Multnomah County policy makers remained frustrated that existing treatment interventions did not seem to be effectively addressing the widespread and growing substance abuse problems among offenders. In 1991, they began one of the nation's first treatment diversion drug courts in an effort to reduce drug-related recidivism among offenders and to improve the effectiveness of court-mandated treatment. This chapter describes the context under which Multnomah County's drug court was ...