Some states have begun legalizing some drugs, and states like Oregon have begun legalizing every type of illicit drug. Unfortunately, this means that these addictive substances are more readily available, creating a wave of addiction.
Today’s courts and attorneys are searching for strategies to reduce drug crimes and provide lesser punishments to those who commit drug-related crimes. Individuals charged with drug crimes often have high recidivism rates.
About court-ordered treatment programs
Courts recognize that prisons cannot solve the underlying issue that caused the person to commit drug crimes. Therefore, judges have started sentencing the accused to court-ordered drug treatment programs that focus on finding the source or driver of these addictions.
Why attorneys seek treatment over imprisonment
Attorneys do not want to see their clients consistently charged with drug crimes, but without proper treatment and a full recovery, many of these individuals re-offend. Unfortunately, jails and prisons do not have adequate substance abuse counseling, medical care or addiction treatment resources, so these individuals cannot get the help they need in these institutions.
In addition, lengthy criminal records make it difficult for individuals to find gainful employment. Those who complete rehabilitation programs have a better chance to change their lives.
Factors that affect treatment program eligibility
A judge will carefully consider the severity of the crime, type of drugs involved and prior offenses when determining whether an individual is eligible for a court-ordered treatment program.
The goal is to get those addicted to drugs into rehabilitation before it is too late. However, a judge may sentence those who do not complete their programs to prison.
While treatment programs may not be available or worthwhile for everyone, those who want to change their lives should investigate and request this sentencing option. However, recovery takes work and requires a lifelong commitment.