Montana Drug Treatment Courts

Drug courts were first developed in 1989 to reduce the backlog of drug-related court cases and to reduce recidivism and substance abuse among participants. In Montana a drug court is a court docket within a district court or court of limited jurisdiction (i.e., city, municipal or justice’s court) that specializes in adult criminal, DUI offenses, juvenile, veteran or civil child abuse and neglect cases involving persons who are alcohol or other drug dependent. Drug courts reduce recidivism and substance abuse among participants and successfully habilitate them through alcohol and drug abuse treatment, mandatory and frequent drug testing, use of appropriate sanctions and incentives, and continuous judicial oversight. Montana established its first drug court in Missoula in 1996. Currently, there are 31 drug courts operating in the state, including 5 tribal courts.