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Drug Treatment Courts in Canada: Who Benefits?

19th December 2003

This paper critically explores the question:  who benefits from drug treatment courts (DTCs)?  It begins with a brief overview of DTCs and the structure they have taken in Canada to date.  It then critically examines the claim that DTCs are beneficial to both DTC clients and society finding that the benefits to both may be overstated by supporters of DTCs.  The paper then examines whether there is alternative explanation for the increasing popularity of DTCs in Canada.  Finally, the paper discusses whether there is a better, less intrusive option for achieving the stated goals of drug treatment courts.

By Cynthia Kirkby, John Howard Society of New Brunswick.

Published in Gerald B. Thomas (ed.), Perspectives on Canadian Drug Policy: Volume II (Kingston, Ontario: The John Howard Society of Canada, 2003).