The Graduate Review


Due to drug policy changes in the 1980s, the criminal justice system was forced to create diversion programs to deal with the rising numbers of drug offenders in the system. Based on “therapeutic jurisprudence”, drug courts began opening across the county in 1989, using the “ten key components” as a guide for policy implementation. The purpose of this study was to analyze how closely a Massachusetts drug court adheres to drug court’s 10 key components. Drug court participants’ perceptions on the application of the 10 key components were acquired by an in-depth, face-to-face interview session. This research also used court observation to study drug court as an alternative to incarceration. This study found that although this Massachusetts drug court adheres to the 10 key components, there is room for improvement.

Note on the Author

Isabel Pires is pursuing her Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Her thesis was completed in the fall of 2015 under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield. Isabel plans to pursue a Ph.D. in few years.

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