If you have ever been convicted of a drug-related crime in South Carolina, you may have been offered participation in drug court as an alternative to serving time behind bars. Drug courts are highly regulated programs that aim to help keep you out of jail and off drugs through a variety of methods, which may include regular court appearances, drug tests and therapy sessions, among other components.
Though not available everywhere, drug courts have been shown to offer tremendous benefits not only for drug addicts themselves, but for the entire community the drug court serves. They do so in the following ways:
By saving taxpayer money
Drug courts, per the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, ultimately cost taxpayers considerably less than housing a drug offender through the prison system. In fact, every drug court participant ends up saving the community anywhere from $3,000 to $13,000 by reducing or eliminating expenditures such as court costs, food and housing behind bars, and so on.
By reducing crime
Numerous studies have shown that drug courts also have dramatic effects on crime within the communities they serve. Not only can they reduce crime by more than 40 percent in comparison with traditional criminal sentencing options, they also tend to keep participants from reoffending. After successfully completing a drug court program, three-quarters of participants are still free from arrest two years later.
By reuniting families
Your children, too, have the potential to benefit from drug court. Families of drug court participants are 50 percent more likely to come back together than the families of offenders who are punished using more “traditional” means, such as incarceration. Your children are also less likely to have to enter placement or foster care because of your participation in drug court.
By forcing compliance
The strict structure of drug court essentially forces you to comply with its tenets, most of which are designed to help you kick your addiction and find new ways to cope with your struggles and hardships. Because drug offenders are so closely supervised and held to such tight regulations and rules, drug courts have been shown to be six times more likely than other managed community programs to help addicts kick their addictions and stay off drugs.
Drug courts have a proven track record of helping drug offenders like you kick their habits and resume successful, satisfying lives. To find out if participating in such a program might be an option for you, consider getting in touch with an attorney.