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A National Survey of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs and Initiatives (2013)

"The evolution of justice policy in the United States has been far from linear. The last several decades have seen dramatic shifts in the management of criminal justice populations across the country, especially with regard to drug policy. Through the early years of the “War on Drugs,” declared in the early 1970s by President Nixon, the fortification of laws and sanctions against the use of illegal drugs, combined with the criminal behavior that sometimes results from the drug-seeking component of addiction, and a host of other economic and social conditions, helped hold the roots of such criminality firmly within a moral and social realm in the minds of both policymakers and the public. Illicit drug use often has been perceived as a moral failing, punishable by incarceration. While this perception remains widespread in some areas and systems, significant advances in the science of treating underlying substance use disorders and mental illness has led to a burgeoning acceptance that addiction and mental illness are clinical issues with clinical solutions."

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