February 20, 2015
Currently, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Some might believe that this is because we are a more dangerous country, or simply attribute it to superior police work. However, the true cause for our high prison population is something completely different. The Federal Bureau of Prisoners reports that drug offenders currently account for roughly half (48.7 percent to be exact) of prison inmates. This has many looking for alternative solutions that help addicts rather than leaving them behind bars.
What Is a Drug Court?
Drug courts are the most effective way of rehabilitating drug addicts. They serve as an alternative sentencing option for those convicted of drug related crimes. Rather than going through the traditional court system, a person charged with a drug offense is sent to drug court. This is done as a way of treating those with drug issues rather than punishing them for their addiction. In drug court, the judge will sentence the defendant to treatment, rather than jail. The defendant may be required to:
–Complete an intensive treatment program
–Stay clean and sober
–Have regular appearances in court to review their progress
–Submit to random drug charges
If a defendant can meet all the guidelines set forth by the judge, then they will be able to stay out of jail and hopefully be on the path to recovery.
Why Drug Courts Work
It has been proven over and over again: drug courts are more effective than traditional sentencing options. This is because they treat drug addiction as a disease rather than a crime. Extensive studies done by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and the National Institute of Justice have proven that drug courts have comprehensive benefits for both individuals and the community. Just some of their findings show that drug courts:
-Reduce Crime. Two years after being let out of jail, the re-arrest rate for regular inmates is around 40 percent. However, when an individual completes drug court, that number drops to 12 percent.
-Save Money. Keeping inmates in prison costs a lot of taxpayers money. Drug courts cut down on the amount of prisoners, reducing the amount we spend on prisons. It has been estimated that for every $1 spent in drug court, $3.36 is saved. In fact, for every person who goes to drug court rather than prison, the state can save up to $13,000.
-Fight Addiction. Drug courts treat addiction as a disease rather than a crime. It gives those who do not otherwise have the drive or means to receive high quality treatment.
-Improve Families. When an individual goes to prison, it does not just affect them, but their entire family. Children of parents who go to drug court are less likely to spend time in foster care.
Discover If Drug Court Is Right for You
If you or a loved one is battling addiction and facing criminal charges because of it, contact the Khonsari Law Group today. We will help to determine if you are a good candidate for drug court, and fight to get you the treatment you need. Come into KLG today for a free evaluation of your case.