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Monday, June 4, 2012

Understanding Drug Court: Could It Work For You?

Drug court is often featured in the news. You will see below some recent related articles about the efficacy of drug court and we've talked about drug court before always attempting to share useful information for our readers. Sometimes the hardest thing for those arrested on drug charges, including DWI or DUI, is to try to understand what drug court is and whether or not it is a feasible opportunity for one's particular case.

There is an organization that can help one understand drug court. It is the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). You might think that their website might only serve those who are drug court professionals; however, if you visit their site, you will find a lot of useful information including a map to search to find a drug court in your state.

Here are some statistics that may interest you. These facts have been gathered over the past 20 years since drug court was introduced as a viable alternative to jail or prison time. According to the NADCP website:

Drug Courts Reduce Crime
  • FACT: Nationwide, 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.
  • FACT: Rigorous studies examining long-term outcomes of individual Drug Courts have found that reductions in crime last at least 3 years and can endure for over 14 years.
  • FACT: The most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options.
Drug Courts Save Money
  • FACT: Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
  • FACT: When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested.
  • FACT: Drug Courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.
  • FACT: In 2007, for every Federal dollar invested in Drug Court, $9.00 was leveraged in state funding.
Drug Courts Ensure Compliance
  • FACT: Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely.
  • FACT: Drug Courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community-based supervision programs.
  • FACT: Drug Courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.
Drug Courts Combat meth addiction
  • FACT: For methamphetamine-addicted people, Drug Courts increase treatment program graduation rates by nearly 80%.
  • FACT: When compared to eight other programs, Drug Courts quadrupled the length of abstinence from methamphetamine.
  • FACT: Drug Courts reduce methamphetamine use by more than 50% compared to outpatient treatment alone.
Drug Courts Restore Families
  • FACT: Parents in Family Drug Court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.
  • FACT: Children of Family Drug Court participants spend significantly less time in out-of-home placements such as foster care.
  • FACT: Family re-unification rates are 50% higher for Family Drug Court participants.
Sometimes watching a video of someone speaking about their own experience with drug court can be a better teaching tool for those considering drug court as an alternative. Watch Trey Anastasio (PHISH) as he speaks at the 17th Annual Drug Court Training Conference last fall in Washington, DC.

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