Recidivism In Drug Courts

1627 Words7 Pages
Drug Courts were first put into effect to move cases from the correctional system into rehabilitation programs. The war on drugs led to an influx of drug offenders into the criminal justice system, so some change was needed. Drug courts are much different than regular courts. These courts help non-violent offenders recover from their addictions and help them become productive citizens in society. These courts are very unique in that the justice and treatment systems work together to help offenders. To be considered for drug court treatment one must be a nonviolent offender who has committed a drug or drug-related crime. Studies show that drug courts do work in many ways to help its graduates reduce drug use and crime, and helps restore the…show more content…
Many people, including myself, question if studies are taking into account that there are different degrees of addiction and some people may need the help more than others. These people that don’t need as much help are most likely recreational users who happen to get caught. The decrease in recidivism for drug court graduates contributes to the criminal justice system’s belief that arresting more people for possession of drugs will help the drug problem in America, but that is just simply untrue. Because of this misconception, drug courts may actually be working against what their actual goal is, which is to help people. Then these arrests lead to people not being admitted into drug courts and simply going to jail and coming out of jail the same as they were going in. This increase of arrests is called net widening, which is police arresting more people with the hope that they’ll be put into drug court, but instead ended up in…show more content…
Each of these researches lack evidence that the people being admitted into these programs actually had to be there in order to be rehabilitated. I would have monitored these people before they were admitted into these programs. This monitoring would determine how much help these people need. The strict eligibility to get into these courts makes many of these people stuck in jail with no other option. Of course simply expanding the drug courts so that there’s more room for all drug offenders would mean there would be no need to research the addiction levels as much. We could simply determine if drug courts are successful by looking at the cases of all drug offenders. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) estimates it would take $1.5 billion over six years to make drug courts available to every nonviolent, drug-addicted offender (Sovigny, Pollack, Reuter 2013). Making drug courts available to all nonviolent offenders would be a step in the right direction but violent offenders need help as well. The 5-year longitudinal study discussed in the previous paragraph concluded that many violent offenders in Drug Court programs reduced drug use as much as other participants and reduced their criminal behaviors even more (NIJ's Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation). The conclusions from the (Wilcon, Eggers, Mackenzie 2012) review supports

More about Recidivism In Drug Courts

Open Document