People in Texas understand for the most part that people who break the law should face some kind of penalty. The issue becomes more complicated for nonviolent people accused of drug crimes. An addiction often drives them to violate drug laws more than any desire to do harm to society. For this reason, many jurisdictions in Texas operate drug courts meant to steer nonviolent offenders into addiction treatment as an alternative to jail time. This approach has delivered benefits in the form of helping people escape the cycle of repeatedly getting arrested for drugs.
Lower recidivism rate
A study from 2002, a year after the program started, showed that people who participated in drug courts had much lower arrest rates compared to people who did not complete such programs. Authorities arrested only 3.4% of people who completed drug treatment programs over the next three years. For people who never went through a drug court, 26.6% of them ended up arrested again within three years.
Three phases of Galveston drug court
If you are facing drug charges, you may have the option of attending drug court. This represents an alternative form of prosecution within the criminal justice system.
In Galveston, the drug court program consists of three phases. During the first part, clinicians assess participants and create a treatment program for their addiction. Upon stabilizing the addiction, phase two begins. This segment focuses on counseling. In phase three, participants learn skills meant to keep them from relapsing.
Benefits of drug courts
Society has discovered that drug treatment produces better outcomes than incarcerating people addicted to illegal substances. Courts generally save money by directing willing participants into drug courts and giving them a chance to acquire the skills to avoid drug use and contribute to their communities.