When people in Texas are convicted of drug crimes, there are many different sentences they can receive. From fines to jail time to drug treatment, the sentence depends on the severity of the crime, the number of times the offender has been convicted and state laws. Some believe that drug courts are the more appropriate way to deal with drug offenders, rather than strict incarceration.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, drug courts can help the individual recover from their drug disorder with the long-term goal of reducing recidivism, or criminal activity in the future. Some basically believe that if drug users receive treatment as part of their sentencing, they are less likely to end up back in jail for another drug crime. Without any treatment options while incarcerated, many return to the same crimes they were committing before.
If an individual participates in a drug court as part of their sentencing, they are required to stay clean and sober and are still held accountable for the offenses they committed and the legal responsibilities that come with them. Drug courts are not usually recommended for violent criminals, but rather the non-violent, low-level offenders that move through the prisons, jails and courts in the country.
There are also family treatment drug courts that take a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to offenders who have children in the welfare system. The goal is to provide treatment for a substance use disorder so the family can stay together and function successfully.
Drug courts can be a powerful tool in the fight against drug offenses and an ideal way for society to lessen the costs of running jails and prisons. The cost of drug court is often much lower than the cost of imprisoning someone who is statistically likely to end up back in the system without help.
This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.