The first drug court was established in 1989 in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and was designed to tackle the cocaine epidemic that had overtaken the region. This first drug court provided an alternative response to mass incarceration and added a facet to American justice that hadn’t yet been seen. Miami-Dade’s model imparted the idea that offending rates could be reduced without the severe punishment of jail or prison. In addition, it emphasized the notion that treating the root causes of crime, including mental health and addiction issues, could not only achieve the same results as traditional justice, but could actually surpass them.
Continue reading “Global Recovery: Where International Justice Meets the Drug Court Model”
I have been lucky in my career to have a wonderful professional mentor who is also my friend. Domingo Herraiz, the director of programs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, told me the most empowering thing I can recall, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Will Smith has summed up the same advice into a great dictum: “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.”
Because of Domingo’s advice, I’ve had the courage to take risks and come up with innovative ideas. In particular, I’ve learned to embrace research. As a former prosecutor and senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), I admit, it was an adjustment, but, boy, am I glad I was willing to fail. Continue reading “From Research to Policy to Practice and Back Again”