Justice Department Defends Drug Courts After Critical Report


James Burch, acting director of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, defended alternatives to incarceration yesterday before a congressional committee after internal DOJ criticism that his agency has poorly monitored its grants funding such programs, reports MainJustice.com.

Burch told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the parent Office of Justice Programs is now “supporting programs that are backed by evidence of effectiveness, not simply ideology.” Appealing to fiscal expedience in a time of tight budgets, Burch advocated programs that prevent and divert individuals from entering the criminal justice system. He specifically praised drug courts for capitalizing “on the opportunities presented at the front end of the system.”

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