When people are arrested on drug charges or allegations, they often assume that they are going to have to spend time behind bars. They will go to court, have a trial and be sentenced to time in jail if they are convicted. Of course, perhaps they hope to avoid that conviction, but that’s the general process they expect moving forward.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. In some cases, drug courts are used. How are these better than traditional court systems?
A different focus
A drug court is specifically set up for nonviolent drug offenders. It is geared around those who may be addicted to the substances that they are using. Rather than having to pay excessive fines and spend months or even years in jail, people are given the option to participate in a treatment program that is monitored by the authorities. If they complete this program, then they may not have to face any other ramifications.
The big difference here is that many of these individuals will re-offend if they are given fines or jail time. They are dealing with an addiction, which is a recognized medical condition. Jail time will not cure that addiction, so they could be released and start using the substances again. In this sense, a treatment plan has a better chance of eliminating the actual problem and stopping subsequent crimes from occurring.
Not everyone is eligible for drug courts. But this certainly helps to show why it’s so important for all alleged offenders to know what options they have.