3 reasons why drug courts are preferable to jail time

| Nov 28, 2016 | Criminal Law

People who are arrested for driving under the influence are often caught up in a cycle of addiction that is hard to break. While jail may seem like the best option for them to serve their time since they broke the law, there is a newer approach to helping these people that is surprisingly effective. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 75 percent of people who graduate from drug court are never charged with a drug-related crime again. This highlights the fact that drug courts may be a successful alternative to locking people up in jail or prison.

If an individual is arrested for a drug-related offense and put in jail, he or she is forced to become sober. Without treatment for the underlying issues and triggers, the person is likely to jump right back into using as soon as he or she is back to the old life, friends and situations.

1. Accountability

While offenders are held responsible in both situations for their choices and crimes, drug court forces them to take accountability for their actions. The addict can no longer blame his or her problems on anyone else or say he or she shouldn’t have been caught. Drug court teaches coping skills that allow the addict to accept accountability without shame and guilt.

2. Treatment

One of the major problems with just throwing addicts in jail is that there is no adequate psychological treatment to help them stay out of trouble when they are released. Even if they have been behind bars for five or 10 years, once they are released and old friends start coming around, it is way too easy to fall back into the cycle. With drug court, the problems that cause the drug addiction are addressed and coping mechanisms are taught. That way, when an addict comes across something that triggers a craving, he or she has the coping and survival skills needed to avoid it.

3. Reduced costs

Every day an addict spends in jail costs more taxpayer money for security, food and all the other things jails require. This can be frustrating when offenders get right back into trouble when they are released. Drug courts can lower costs by providing adequate treatment along with their sentence to ensure that the addict can stay away from drugs.

If you have been convicted or arrested for a drug crime and feel you may be addicted to substances, drug court may be the best option for you to get the help you need. An attorney may be able to answer any questions you have about your possible sentence.