Drug court trials are the most expensive part of the criminal justice system, costing about $1.6 billion annually, according to a report by a leading drug court research group.
But drug courts are not perfect, and many of the outcomes are inconsistent, according the report.
The report says that about one in 10 drug court cases ends up in a guilty verdict or no guilty verdict at all.
“Drug courts often have a limited number of cases and they’re based on the worst offenders in the community,” said James Rafferty, a professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the report, released Wednesday.
Many drug courts also use a mandatory pretrial diversion program that is designed to ensure drug users have the skills to pay their court costs and are eligible for probation, according a summary of the study.
However, the report also found that many drug court outcomes are mixed.
Drug courts are notoriously hard on the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who have criminal records.
Some courts, such as those in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, have seen drug cases drop sharply.
In Seattle, drug court courts saw a sharp increase in cases in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year, but the court was overwhelmed with cases, according.
In New York, drug courts have been plagued by complaints from the public, judges and prosecutors that drug defendants are often left to fend for themselves after being convicted of crimes.
One of the problems with drug court systems is that judges often rely too much on discretion, and sometimes can miss important evidence, according in the report to the American Bar Association.
According to the report: A majority of drug court defendants were not involved in the drug offense that was charged or that resulted in their arrest.
Drug defendants were found guilty of a small percentage of drug crimes, but many cases did not result in conviction.
There were no significant differences in the outcomes for people who received a positive drug test, a person who used drugs and people with histories of substance use disorders.
Although there were some differences in drug court evaluations, there was no evidence that people who are poor, minorities, and the mentally ill received better evaluations.
Most of the court’s drug cases were dismissed for a variety of reasons, such of being incompetent or ineffective in court, or were thrown out by judges who did not have a good record.
Judges who had a drug conviction did not necessarily receive harsher penalties than other drug court judges, and they often did not appear to be given adequate opportunities to review evidence and provide a fair outcome, the study said.
It said that in some cases, judges were reluctant to admit that their drug cases had been dropped or to give defendants who had been convicted a chance to defend themselves.
Another study by the Justice Department in 2014 found that the number of people in drug courts had fallen by about 70 percent over the past decade, but that many judges and the courts were not adequately monitoring the progress of drug cases and failing to protect vulnerable populations.