Celebrating 25 Years of Drug Courts in America

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May is National Drug Court Month and it shines a light on the collective impact that the programs have had on communities across the United States. Drug Courts, DWI Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts have experienced tremendous success and provided an unparalleled contribution to society. This year is a stand-out year as it is the 25th Anniversary of Drug Courts in America.

Research continues to show that Drug Courts work better than jail, prison, probation and better than treatment alone. Drug Courts are America’s most effective strategy at reducing recidivism among seriously drug addicted, nonviolent offenders with long criminal histories. Nationally, 75% of individuals who complete Drug Court are not re-arrested.

The Drug Courts are a proven budget solution that saves lives and money. They can save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve and return as much as $27 for every $1 invested.

There are 2,600 operational Drug Courts in the United States that are a judicially-supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, protects community safety and improves public welfare. In the courts, seriously drug-addicted individuals remain in treatment for long periods of time while under close supervision. Participants must meet their obligation to themselves, their families and society. To ensure accountability, participants are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, rewarded for doing well and sanctioned for not living up to their obligations.

Pioneer Human Services receives referral clients from Drug Courts for our treatment, housing and employment programs and fully supports the courts across the country as they demonstrate that a combination of accountability and compassion should be the foundation upon which our criminal justice system handles drug addicted individuals. By treating chronically addicted offenders, Drug Courts can save vast amounts of money, protect public safety and reduce drug abuse in local communities.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014