The one thing we can always count on is change. Yet change is often difficult for people and organizations.
My first assignment as a young deputy prosecutor was with the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force. As a member of that unit, I often accompanied law enforcement when serving search warrants in drug investigations. While I saw many appalling situations, one in particular stands out in my memory. One day detectives served a search warrant at a house in Olympia where heroin was being used and sold. Amid the filth and chaos was a drug addicted mother and her three young daughters. Detectives found heroin and syringes lying out in the open and a machete under one girl’s bed. The girl told them that it was there to protect herself from, “mommy’s friends.” The mother was arrested and the girls taken into protective custody.
Sometimes, I wonder how the idea for a drug court originated. I wonder about this because the creation of drug courts in the United States is, in my opinion, one of the most remarkable innovations in criminal jurisprudence since trial by jury.