When incarcerated drug offenders fail to receive the treatment they need, they will likely use again and commit another crime upon release. Drug courts mitigate this problem by blending together justice and treatment. Participants receive intensive, comprehensive treatment and case management to help them overcome their addiction. In addition, they must comply with preventative procedures, including drug testing, supervision, and status hearings. Since the first drug court was initiated more than 25 years ago, these criminal justice programs have aided countless people. Don’t underestimate the many benefits of drug courts, which are helping addicted offenders achieve long-term recovery every day.
Drug Testing in Drug Courts
Without supervision, monitoring, and drug testing, participants in drug courts might slip through the cracks and fall back into their old habits. Testing provides powerful motivation, as many courts impose strict punishments (including jail time) when a participant tests positive for drugs or alcohol. When selecting a drug-testing program, many aspects must be considered, including testing methods, technologies, staffing, and frequency of testing. The court can customize the panel of drugs tested to suit their needs. In addition, the court should seek out testing companies with the following features and traits:
- Certified and trained technicians
- Observed same-gender collections
- Strict quality guidelines
- Organized management
- Seamless communication
- Confidential procedures
- Individualized random selection
- Accurate and reliable testing results
Benefits of Drug Courts
Drug Courts Reduce Drug Usage
Of course, one of the primary benefits of drug courts is that they curtail drug use amongst participants. By providing a thorough and meticulous treatment program, drug courts significantly reduce the drug abuse of defendants. Most courts test defendants weekly and find that drug use plummets once a person enters the drug court. More importantly, most graduates are able to kick their drug habit in the long run.
Drug Courts Reduce Crime
Drug courts significantly reduce recidivism (i.e. the number of criminals who reoffend). In fact, 75% of graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program (source). These results can endure for years into the future, sometimes even lasting over 14 years (source). Especially when compared to other sentencing options, drug courts prove effective in reducing crime and helping graduates live more virtuous lives.
Drug Courts Save Money
Although some might fear that drug courts drain valuable government funds, they actually save taxpayers money. In the United States, for every $1.00 invested in drug courts, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in criminal justice costs alone (source). Other savings occur due to reduced victimization and reduced healthcare costs. In 2007, for every $1.00 invested in a drug court by the federal government, about $9.00 was leveraged in state funding (source).
Drug Courts Ensure Compliance
Accountability is a critical feature of every drug court. By supervising offenders who struggle with substance abuse and providing comprehensive treatment, drug courts prevent the vast majority of offenders (70%) from dropping out of treatment early (source). Since participants are closely supervised and must accept and adhere to an extensive treatment plan, they are far more likely to stick with the program long enough to overcome their reliance on drugs or alcohol – six times more likely, in fact (source).
Drug Courts Combat Meth Addiction
One of the many benefits of drug courts is that they successfully help people overcome a variety of different drug addictions, including dependency on methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth. They increase the graduation rates of treatment programs by 80% and reduce meth use by more than 50% when compared to outpatient treatment alone (source).
Drug Courts Restore Families
The primary goal of a drug court is to provide services that help incarcerated drug offenders (1) kick their drug habit, (2) avoid crime, and (3) lead a healthy and productive life following the program’s end. Family drug courts have an additional critical goal: to reunify families by working with child protective services. Parents in these programs are twice as likely to attend and complete treatment, and children spend significantly less time in out-of-home placements like foster care (source). For families who wish to mend and put substance abuse behind them, family drug courts can provide extremely valuable assistance. These families are 50% more likely to unify if they participate in a family drug court (source).
Tomo Drug Testing partners with Treatment Courts to create accurate, efficient, and cost-effective testing solutions customized for the unique needs of any judicial agency. We have experience working with Drug, DWI, Veterans, Mental Health, Family, and similar adult and juvenile courts. For more information, give us a call today at 1-888-379-7697 or contact us online. We would be happy to help!