Source: (2006) Crime & Delinquency. 52(1): 114-134

The drug court model assumes that most drug offenders are addicts, and that drug use fuels other criminal activity. As a result, drug court clients must satisfy an intensive regimen of treatment and supervisory obligations. However, research suggests that roughly one third of drug court clients do not have a clinically significant substance use disorder. For these clients, standard drug court services may be ineffective or even contraindicated. Instead, these clients may be best suited for a secondary prevention approach directed at interrupting the acquisition of addictive behaviors. Unfortunately, there are no established secondary prevention packages for adults in criminal justice settings. This article presents a conceptual framework for developing and administering secondary prevention services in drug courts and proposes a platform of prevention techniques that can be tailored in a clinically relevant manner for the sizeable population of drug court clients who are low risk.