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THURSDAY, MAY 29, 1997202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C.--Starting a drug court will now be easier for many jurisdictions. The 10 key elements to consider in establishing a drug court can be found in a new publication, "Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components," just released by the Department of Justice. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals prepared the document in collaboration with the Department.

"To have a real impact on crime in this country, we must use whatever works to get drug users back into a healthy and productive lifestyle," said OJP Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "I hope communities will find this guide useful in implementing drug courts, improving existing drug courts, and ultimately, stopping the revolving door of drug use and crime."

The document includes background on the drug court movement, information on how to plan a drug court, and detailed information on how to design all the components of a successful drug court. The document taps the expertise of representatives from courts, prosecution, public defense, treatment, pretrial services, case management, probation, court administration, and academia to provide a comprehensive compilation of flexible elements communities can adapt to their specific needs to develop a drug court.

There are currently over 200 drug courts in the United States. Over the past two years, more than 150 communities have received $33 million in OJP funds to plan, implement, or improve drug courts. In February, OJP announced grants totaling approximately $16 million to more than 125 communities for drug courts. Later this year, OJP will make additional implementation and enhancement awards to communities that applied under the Drug Court program in December of last year. The President has requested $75 million for drug courts for Fiscal Year 1998.

To obtain a copy of "Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components," please contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Services at 1-800/851-3420. For additional information about the drug court program or OJP and its programs, please visit OJP's web site at:

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OJP 97-074

For Additional Information contact: Doug Johnson at 202/616-3559