Source: (2000) Albany Law Review. 63: 923-961.

Following the 1989 establishment of the first drug treatment court in the United States, the growth of such courts has been extraordinary, according to John Goldkamp. Some have criticized the development of specialized courts. Goldkamp builds on those criticisms to address significant questions about the adaptations of court procedure associated with drug courts and similar courts. In his view, the drug court model represents the first stages of a fundamental paradigm shift in justice away from a predominantly punitive orientation toward an approach that seeks to confront and meliorate the problems associated with people in the criminal caseload. Goldkamp analyzes this situation by looking at the elements of the drug court model, causes of the drug court innovation, and questions raised by the proliferation of such courts.