Drug Court Program
In traditional criminal court cases, defendants found guilty of drug charges are punished with long periods of incarceration. Drug court programs recognize that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that affects behavior and impulse control. Therefore, the drug court’s primary goal is not punishment, it is treatment of the disease. To motivate treatment, the court grants rewards for progress and sanctions for failure to meet program requirements.
Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023
Drug court programs are for people charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, are likely to re-offend, and who are experiencing serious substance use disorders. There is no universal model for drug court programs but there are two common ways in which people enter drug court. In one model, defendants who meet eligibility requirements are diverted from traditional court proceedings into drug court before pleading to a charge. This is commonly called pre-trial or deferred prosecution. In another model, defendants who meet eligibility requirements plead guilty to their charges and their sentences are deferred or suspended while they participate in the drug court program. This model is referred to as post-adjudication.
Participants who complete the drug court program can have their underlying criminal offenses dismissed or expunged. If a participant fails to complete the program, their case will be processed as it normally would in the traditional criminal justice system.
Drug court programs often include:
Participation over a series of months or years to establish and maintain long-term recovery strategies
Drug courts are operating with incredible success across the country. They are effective at getting people into treatment — a key step in long-term sobriety. People who complete drug court programs are significantly less likely to be arrested again, compared to those who are sentenced with traditional punishments. The most successful drug courts reduce recidivism by as much as 35 to 40 percent. Drug courts also are cost beneficial. The National Institute of Justice concluded from a decade-long study of a drug court that “reduced recidivism and other long-term program outcomes resulted in public savings of $6,744 on average per participant.”
If you or a loved one is in need of assistance with substance use disorders, reach out to California Prime Recovery today at 866-208-2390. Our compassionate team is here to guide you towards recovery and provide the support you deserve. Make the call and take the first step towards a brighter future.
Drug courts prioritize treatment and long-term recovery for individuals with substance use disorders rather than solely focusing on punishment. They recognize addiction as a chronic disease of the brain that affects behavior and impulse control.
There are primarily two methods. In the pre-trial or deferred prosecution model, eligible defendants are diverted into drug court before pleading to a charge. In the post-adjudication model, after pleading guilty, their sentences are deferred or suspended while they participate in the program.
Successful participants can have their original criminal offenses dismissed or expunged. Those who fail will have their case processed in the traditional criminal justice system.
Drug court programs significantly reduce the likelihood of participants getting arrested again. Some of the most effective drug courts have reduced recidivism by 35 to 40 percent.
Yes, drug courts provide a substantial return on investment. According to the National Institute of Justice, reduced recidivism and other long-term program outcomes lead to public savings averaging $6,744 per participant.
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