Lawyers Spearhead Efforts to Develop Community Anti-Drug Coalitions

    • February 1, 2000

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.

Key Results

  • 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.