Bennett H. Brummer Recognizes Retiring Drug
Miami-Dade Public Defender Bennett H. Brummer presented retiring Circuit Judge Stanley
Goldstein with a certificate of appreciation last month to honor his work in the
nations first drug court. Judge Goldstein started what has become a national
movement to assist thousands of drug addicts move from criminal activity to productive,
law-abiding, drug-free lives.
"The success we enjoyed in drug court was largely due to Stanley
Goldstein," Brummer said at a Dec. 18 retirement luncheon for the judge. "We are
awarding him this certificate to recognize his compassion, dedication and tireless efforts
to save the lives of countless drug court clients."
In a Nov. 24 letter, President Bill Clinton congratulated Judge
Goldstein on his retirement and the outstanding job he did in drug court: "Your
dedication to the public is an inspiration to others
I thank you for a job well
"My role in this whole deal was a cheerleader," Judge
Goldstein said. "The credit I share 100% with all who worked in here."
In 1989, Chief Judge Gerald Wetherington, Judge Herbert Klein, then State
Attorney Janet Reno and Public Defender Bennett Brummer, created the drug court in
response to the crack cocaine epidemic that was plaguing our community. Nonviolent
offenders who had been arrested for possessing or purchasing drugs were diverted into drug
court to receive intensive court supervision, frequent drug testing and counseling, and
vocational training, for at least one year. Until now, Judge Goldstein was the only judge
to preside in the drug court.
Judge Goldstein took a strong interest in the people from all walks of life who
appeared in his courtroom. He viewed drug addiction as a disease and gave recovering
addicts every opportunity to succeed with their treatment.
However, if the judge felt faltering clients were capable of, but were not fully
committed to recovery, he would send them to jail for up to two weeks to motivate them to
try harder. Judge Goldstein always gave his clients "a couple of shots to straighten
Some 14,000 clients have appeared before Judge Goldstein. Of that
number, approximately 5,000 graduated from the program. Recent studies show that more than
90% of them are arrest free for at least one year after graduation, and approximately 75%
remain arrest free for five years.
As Miami-Dades own drug court czar, Judge Goldstein has received
worldwide acclaim for his efforts, traveling throughout the United States and Europe
helping to set up drug courts. There are 328 drug courts in the United States and abroad
and another 200 are in the planning stage.
The Public Defenders Office has championed drug court
since its inception. Not only does drug court save lives, Brummer pointed out, but it
saves taxpayers money. It costs $26,000 a year to jail an offender, while drug court
treatment costs only $2,300 a year for each client.