Published by / Citation
Original Language


alternatives to incarceration

Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug‐Related Offenses

Alternatives to incarceration (ATIs) are mainly designed for offenders whose criminal behavior is driven by an underlying substance abuse disorder. This behavior can include not only crimes related to substance use (e.g., possession) but also those committed under the influence of substances (e.g., DUI) or to obtain money for substances (e.g., theft).

These programs offer individuals the option of undergoing treatment and rehabilitation under judicial supervision, working with a multidisciplinary team, instead of serving time in prison.

By addressing the substance abuse disorder at the root of the criminal behavior, ATI programs aim to tackle the cause rather than the symptoms, helping to end the cycle of crime, substance abuse, and imprisonment.

ATI programs typically involve a multi-sector approach, combining efforts from the criminal justice system, public health, and social integration services, fostering broader collaboration among these sectors.

The most recognized and studied ATI model is the drug treatment court (DTC), which can function in both the pre-trial and post-conviction stages of the criminal justice process. However, DTCs are just one of many ATI models found across the Americas, including primary diversion and deflection programs, re-entry programs, restorative justice, community courts, community justice, and other therapeutic justice models.

This resource entails many beneficial resources on Drug Treatment Courts  among other ATI related practical guides and research.

Share the Knowledge: ISSUP members can post in the Knowledge Share – Sign in or become a member