Virtual Course on Drug Treatment Courts

A wide range of empirical evidence shows that one of the causes of crime is drug addiction, which affects a large percentage of those involved in criminal cases. These crimes are committed by individuals with different levels of addiction and are linked to problematic drug use.

Over the past few decades, criminal justice systems around the world have developed innovative ways to handle such cases. This experience is known as Drug Treatment Courts. Due to their success, they have expanded to systems on several continents.

This course is designed to give participants an opportunity to review contents related to this experience so that the approach can be replicated in countries around the region in an effort to improve our criminal justice systems’ performance. We believe that this experience is quite interesting beyond the specific matters impacted given that the methodology used can be reproduced in diverse problem areas of the operation of the criminal justice systems of the region. In that sense, we believe that drug treatment courts allow us to explore a very valuable approach to resolving a wide range of problems faced by criminal justice systems in Latin America.
The objective of this course is to review the scope and components of Drug Treatment Courts.

It covers the progress made, research conducted, and theories developed around these programs so that judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and mental health teams can learn about them and apply them in their daily work. The course is also meant to showcase a specific methodology for addressing the problems with which criminal justice systems coexist as an opportunity to introduce innovation and rethink their usefulness.
Module 1. Crime and problematic drug use
This module addresses the relationship between problematic drug use and crime. Students will be able to appreciate the need to develop programs that address drug use.

The specific objectives include exploring the main theories that explain the relationship between crime and drugs, the studies conducted on the relationship between the phenomena and their results, and the ways in which public policy can address drug-related crime.

Module 2. The Drug Treatment Court Model
This module will analyze the history, objectives, and key aspects of the Drug Treatment Court model from a general and introductory perspective.

The specific objectives include exploring what Drug Treatment Courts are and when they are used; studying data on their efficacy; examining why Drug Treatment Courts are cost effective; identifying the minimum and key aspects of these programs in terms of ensuring the integrity of the model in its application to each local reality; and discussing how to develop an approach to this tool that is specific to Latin America.

Module 3. Hearings and the role of justice agents
This module analyzes key aspects for the efficacy of the Drug Treatment Court model and reviews the non-traditional role that criminal justice stakeholders must play in the development of cases that are brought forth using this new work model.

The specific objectives include exploring special elements that determine the quality of program hearings, understanding the skills required to manage them, learning about the role of each professional in the Drug Treatment Courts program, and familiarizing students with the procedural flow chart.

Module 4. Therapeutic justice and the use of Drug Treatment Courts for young people
This module analyzes the Drug Treatment Court model in the context of therapeutic justice, describing its unique characteristics and differentiating it from traditional justice. Students will also explore opportunities to apply the model to cases involving young people based on their specific characteristics.

The specific objectives include allowing students to identify essential differences between therapeutic justice and traditional justice, explore key elements of therapeutic justice applied to Drug Treatment Courts, and learn about the relationship between drug use and juvenile crime as well as the application of this model to cases with youth offenders.

ors, public defenders, mental health workers, officials from state agencies and NGOs, academics, and anyone interested in learning more about Drug Treatment Courts and how they can be applied in Latin America. Participants will explore this model as an innovative approach to addressing the problems that justice systems face. Target Audience
If you wish to receive an electronic certificate of completion, email and submit the following information:
  • Full name
  • Course
  • Proof of undergraduate enrollment (where applicable)

The electronic certificate costs US$40, which must be paid electronically to our institution. The payment information will be sent via email once the request for certification is made.