From 1992 to 1996, the American Bar Association (ABA), Chicago, worked with volunteer lawyers and community-based coalitions to ameliorate the social and legal problems of substance abuse.
ABA staff supported lawyer involvement in the formation and development of broad-based community coalitions. The purpose of these coalitions was to:
- Facilitate on-site and telephone communication and coordination of efforts among local anti-drug groups.
- Identify effective local programs with national potential.
- Provide legal assistance in community anti-drug policy planning.
Staff also provided information and technical assistance to communities and courts seeking to establish drug courts that provide for mandatory treatment as an alternative to incarceration.
- Eleven bar associations formed drug committees or task forces.
- The ABA convened more than a dozen national organizations into The Drug Crisis Working Group.
- On-site and telephone technical assistance was provided to 37 bar associations.
- 19 state and local bar associations became involved in local community anti-drug coalitions.
- Information about drug courts was provided to more than 200 communities and courts, and direct technical assistance on drug courts was provided to approximately 50 of these.
- Direct technical assistance was provided to more than 60 cities in 34 states.