Is drug court an option for you?

As a South Carolina resident who is facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may feel as if your addiction to one or more drugs is causing you to behave in ways you otherwise would not. Regrettably, today’s jails and prisons are full of criminal offenders who may not have been there, if not for their addictions, because the link between drug abuse and criminal behavior is a very real and serious one.

Per the National Institute of Justice, drug courts, which are court-monitored programs that seek to not only hold offenders accountable, but also treat their addictions, can have positive effects on addicts as well as their communities. In addition to helping you beat your addiction by essentially forcing accountability and compliance (drug courts typically require that you undergo regular drug tests to stay in the program), drug courts can benefit your community in two key ways.

First, contrary to what you might think, you can save your community a sizable amount of money by enrolling in drug court, as opposed to spending time in jail. On average, every criminal offender who goes through drug court saves their community about $1,392. Once you factor in the long-term effects of drug court participation, which include reduced recidivism, your participation in drug court could potentially save your community nearly $6,750.

Your participation in drug court can also benefit your community because it makes you less likely to re-offend and return to the criminal justice system. Studies indicate that, two years after completing drug court, only about 12 percent of participants who were felony offenders were arrested again, compared with about 40 percent of felony offenders who did not participate in drug court.

This information about the benefits of drug court is informative in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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