State Administration of Drug Courts: Exploring Issues of Authority, Funding, and Legitimacy
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Although drug courts are local programs, many were established using federal grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Justice. As these federal grants run their course and overall federal funding for drug courts declines, drug court programs are increasingly relying on state funding for long-term sustainability. Based on prior research and interviews with state drug court directors, this article delineates the three basic models that have emerged for funding and management of these programs at the state level. There is no one best model—each has its strengths and weaknesses. States contemplating a centralization of their drug court activity are urged to carefully consider the executive, judicial, and collaborative models in light of their respective state bureaucratic structures. Whatever decision is made, it must reflect input from the important state-level stakeholders.