If you have ever been convicted of a drug-related crime, you may have faced fines, jail time or drug court, depending on where you live and the specifics of your case. Although drug courts are not currently available in all areas of the United States, they are in operation in Virginia, and they offer numerous benefits for both the addict and the public-at-large. In addition to proving more effective at keeping addicts off drugs than just treatment or just probation, drug courts:
Save considerable taxpayer money
According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, every offender who goes through drug court saves taxpayers anywhere from about $3,000 to $13,000 by reducing prison costs, court costs and so on. On a national scale, every dollar invested into a drug court program leads to a savings of about $3.36.
Reduce crime in the communities they serve
Another benefit of drug courts is they have a positive impact on crime in the areas they serve. Those who go through drug courts often do not reoffend for at least three years after completing the program, and in some cases, the effects of the drug court can keep an offender from committing another crime for as many as 14 years. Furthermore, three-quarters of those who successfully complete drug court programs avoid arrest for two or more years after leaving.
Help put families back together
Yet another proven benefit of drug courts is that those who graduate from them are more likely to be reunited with their family members than those who face more traditional forms of punishment, such as jail time. If you graduate drug court, you are 50 percent more likely to be reunited with your loved ones than if you do not, and your children are also less likely to spend time in placement or foster care.
Force offenders to get to the root of the problem
Drug courts are, by design, quite strict. Addicts must take part in the program for a set amount of time (usually no less than one year), and they must typically undergo regular drug testing. They also frequently take part in mandatory therapy or other treatment methods as part of the drug court agreement.
Given the indisputable benefits of drug court, it is regrettable that they are not currently available to all American drug offenders. If you are facing a drug charge and want to find out more about whether drug court may be an option for you as an alternative to serving time, consider placing a call to an attorney.