Across Ohio, in our Statehouse, our courtrooms, our jails and prisons, and on our streets, drug courts are promoted as a significant answer to drug crimes and the treatment of substance use disorders. Because drug courts are so popular among judges who wield much influence on public policy when they speak on such matters, many take their word regarding drug courts’ crucial role.

Are Drug Courts the Answer? In Ohio, it’s Hard to Tell: A Snapshot of the System is a new report that is not meant to comprehensively analyze the effectiveness of Ohio’s drug courts. Instead, the goal is to highlight all that we do not know about drug courts, to caution against making major policy and financial decisions based on assumptions, and to urge better and broader data collection and reporting. Only then can we have a complete conversation about the role and operation of drug courts across Ohio.