Research has repeatedly shown that there is a definitive link between drug addiction and criminal behavior, and Florida and the nation’s drug court programs seek to curb that criminal behavior by treating drug addiction itself. If you are a state resident who is facing a drug-related criminal charge, and that charge was not for a violent crime, you may be able to gain entry into a Florida drug court.
While the exact details of how drug courts operate can vary from one program to the next, most drug courts operate similarly to one another in that they require participants to stay compliant with a number of program terms. For example, drug offenders must show up to court at regular intervals and appear before a judge or administrator, and they also must agree to undergo drug treatment and periodic drug testing until the program comes to a close. So, are drug courts serving their intended purpose and helping addicts beat their addictions and refrain from future criminal behavior?
Statistics surrounding drug court
Per the National Institute of Justice, a recent 10-year study of the effectiveness of one U.S. drug court program revealed some key findings regarding the usefulness of the program. Among those findings was the fact that attending drug court did, in fact, reduce recidivism for participants. In one study on the subject, for example, authorities re-arrested about 40% of felony drug offenders for new crimes within two years of the initial crime before drug court became available in that area. After drug court became an option for offenders, however, that felony re-arrest rate within the two-year follow-up period dropped to 12%.
Research also shows that it also costs communities much less to put drug offenders through drug court than it does the traditional criminal processing system. Once reduced recidivism and related long-term effects of the program factor in, communities save about $6,744 for every criminal offender who goes through drug court.
Statistics show that drug court can benefit not only you but your community, too. If you are facing a drug charge, find out whether you might be able to gain entry into a drug court program as opposed to facing traditional criminal consequences.