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Adjudication of Drug Offenders

NCJ Number
D J Saari
Date Published
19 pages
This program brief addresses adjudication process issues that should be considered in coordinated strategies mandated by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986.
The definition of adjudication includes all functions performed by the prosecution, defense, pretrial agencies, courts, and agencies performing case disposition tasks. The brief notes a lack of coordination in current State narcotics adjudication activities and a need for systematized adjudication strategies to handle narcotics cases. Systematization must occur at all levels of the adjudication process and assure that agencies involved in the adjudication process are meaningfully linked with one another in terms of goals, resources, and operations. Prior to or within the framework of developing a systematic adjudication program for dealing with drug offenders, a thorough assessment of existing adjudication drug programs and resources is essential. Gaps in current adjudication programs should be identified, and legislation, agency procedures, mechanisms for interagency cooperation, and other aspects of drug adjudication policies and procedures should be reviewed. Adjudication programs initiated by the Bureau of Justice Assistance are described that focus on career criminal prosecution, court delay reduction, jail capacity management, and pretrial alternatives to incarceration.