When law enforcement officers arrest and charge you with a crime involving drugs, the penalties you could potentially face will vary broadly based on factors including the severity of your drug crime and whether you have offended similarly before. In some instances, you may be able to avoid having to spend any time in jail, should a judge or jury convict you of your drug crime, by instead enrolling in a state drug court. According to the National Institute of Justice, drug courts, per a recent 10-year study, have the capacity to substantially benefit not only drug addicts but also the communities in which they reside.
Just what are drug courts, and how might they be able to prevent you from having to serve time behind bars?
Understanding drug courts
Today’s drug courts serve several important functions. Part of the intent of drug court is to help drug offenders beat their addictions, because, frequently, drug addiction is what causes criminal behavior in the first place. Another objective of drug court is to help reduce the overcrowding issue in the nation’s prisons by keeping more non-violent criminal offenders out of them.
Once you gain entry into a drug court program, you will typically have to undergo frequent drug tests and appear periodically before drug court administrators who can make sure you are sticking to the program’s terms. If you are, in fact, able to successfully complete your drug court program, you and your community can potentially benefit in several different ways.
Proven benefits of drug court
While drug court programs can help you kick your drug addiction by essentially forcing accountability with the program’s terms, it can also benefit addicts and communities in several other distinct ways. For example, drug court participants have considerably lower rates of recidivism among them than drug offenders who do not participate in drug court. Furthermore, each person who successfully navigates a drug court program saves his or her community an average of $6,744.
If you are facing a drug charge and are ready to get clean, find out whether you might be able to gain entry into a local drug court program.