Drug courts work, need more support


Published in the Spokesman Review on January 19, 2016


“Typically, states offer drug courts as an alternative to prison for addicts who are arrested for nonviolent crimes only: In exchange for pleading guilty, a defendant can spend a year undergoing assessment, treatment and monitoring. Crucially, this opportunity is offered under the threat of sanctions (including jail time) for not following the program.

“There’s good evidence that the strategy works: Recidivism rates among people who have participated in drug courts are as much as one-quarter lower than for those who have not, and lower still for those who complete the programs. For every $1 spent on drug courts, a state saves about $2.21 on its criminal justice and corrections systems.”

Read more: Drug courts work, need more support