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The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook

September 26, 2011 Comments off

The Drug Court Judicial Benchbook (PDF)
Source: National Drug Court Institute

Although some commentators may glibly chalk up the success of drug courts to the symbolic impact of the “black robe,” or to a select group of charismatic visionaries, much, much more is required. The truth is that many judges do not perform to their potential during their first year on the drug court bench. Like any professional, it takes time and effort for judges to learn how to do their jobs most effectively. It also requires considerable training and education. Judges who do not stay abreast of the research literature and do not attend specialized training do not perform very well,regardless of what prestigious law school they might have attended, or whether they made law review. The truth is that the work drug courts perform requires specialized knowledge, hands-on expertise, and tireless dedication.

For this reason, I am extremely gratified to introduce this Drug Court Judicial Benchbook to the profession. The editors—a highly experienced drug court judge and an accomplished research scholar—have assembled a cadre of leaders in the field to synthesize and describe the latest findings on best practices and evidence-based practices. The breadth and depth of the information encompasses important and relevant topics, including but not limited to substance abuse treatment, community supervision, drug testing, judicial ethics, and constitutional law. This book is crucial reading for any drug court judge, new or seasoned, and adds considerably to the knowledge trove of our field. I know it will benefit your work, as it has benefited mine, and most importantly, it will help you to help others and to save lives. Nothing can be more important than that.

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