Drug courts play an important role in criminal justice

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Drug Charges

The concept of drug court isn’t something that’s new to Florida. In fact, this state was a pioneer in the implementation of drug courts by creating the first one in the nation in Miami-Dade County in 1989. Since then, the number of programs in the state and across the country has grown exponentially.

In Florida alone, there were 53 adult drug courts operating in October of 2022. Some people may wonder what drug court is and why it’s considered to be a good alternative to traditional sentences such as incarceration.

What is drug court?

Drug court is a court-supervised program that enables people who are non-violent and facing drug-related charges. Participants work through various levels of the program, starting with a period of intense supervision. They also go through substance abuse treatment and education.

Participants in drug court have to undergo frequent and random drug testing to ensure they’re remaining sober. They have to fulfill other obligations they have due to their legal cases. This includes paying fines.

As the participant works through the program, they learn skills that enable them to thrive in a meaningful manner. Most people in drug court have to hold a job; however, there are some exceptions to this. For example, a person who’s legally disabled would likely be exempt from this requirement.

Why is drug court effective?

Drug court is considered effective because it has a lower rate of recidivism than traditional sentences. This is partly due to the help with substance abuse issues and other contributing factors that continue pulling the participant back into breaking the law.

Individuals who are taking part in drug court learn valuable skills for living a successful sober life while living in their chosen community. They wouldn’t be able to do this if they were in jail or prison.

Anyone facing drug charges must take these seriously. Finding out the options that you have for your defense strategy is crucial. You should consider how each option may affect your future. Working with someone who’s familiar with all the options, including the possibility of drug court, is beneficial.