Promoting Drug Court Education in Schools of Social Work: Ideas in Action

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Social Work Education

Publication Date


Date Added



Drug courts have provided an alternative to incarceration for arrestees with substance use disorders since 1989 in the USA, and the first drug court outside of the USA began in 1998 in Canada. As drug courts continue to increase throughout the world, it is important for social work students to learn about the role of drug courts in their communities, as they may interact with these programs directly or indirectly, whether it is being a member of a task force that begins a drug court or providing substance abuse treatment to participants. This Ideas in Action article conceptualizes drug courts and discusses their relevance for social work education. The article also proposes several direct service-learning techniques, such as completing practicums and course projects, which can be used within schools of social work to educate students about drug courts and promote civic engagement, reflection, and reciprocity.




Social Work