Over 18,000 Florida state prisoners struggle with a diagnosed mental illness deemed to require treatment. This does not include those that have undiagnosed mental illnesses and those who have a diagnosed mental illness that is not deemed to require treatment. Someone’s mental disposition can play a significant role in their actions. Rehabilitation can provide the best chance at minimizing future digressions and helping the individual lead a normal, productive life moving forward. These numbers would likely be significantly greater if it was not for the systems that the State of Florida has in place to offer those with substance use disorders avenues of treatment as opposed to prison. As an alternative to prisons, there are drug treatment programs that individuals may be required to attend via orders of Florida drug courts.
What are Drug Courts?
In the State of Florida, there are a number of options when someone is arrested with a drug possession charge. As long as there were not any violent crimes that the individual has also been charged with, there is a good chance they will end up in one of the Florida drug courts. Drug courts are specifically operated to address these types of charges in hopes of getting those with a substance use disorder the help they need and reducing the number of people imprisoned for drug possession. Studies have shown that “drug courts significantly reduce crime, provide better treatment outcomes, and produce better cost benefits than other criminal justice strategies.”
Each drug court is operated independently and therefor the exact process may differ from one to another. However, what is consistent is that the defendant must agree to participate in a treatment program, they must prove that they are attending treatment programming as ordered, they must take regular drug tests, and they must check-in with the judge on a regular basis to discuss their progress. Check-ins usually require regular court appearances and providing a sheet signed off by your treatment provider. Failure to follow these requirements can be considered as the defendant forfeiting their right to drug treatment as an alternative to prison. If this happens, the judge may in fact sentence them to prison time. If the defendant completes the program, then the charges against them are dropped.
Drug Course Success Rates
One of the biggest questions that revolve around drug courts is whether someone with a drug or alcohol addiction can be successful with a treatment program when it is required by the legal system, as opposed to seeking treatment on their own. Let’s look at the statistics from 2017:
- 6,195 participants were admitted to Florida drug courts
- 3,577 participants admitted graduated
- 220 children were reunited with their parents after graduation from Florida drug courts
- 102 drug-free babies were born to women who participated in the program
- In the first 12 months following the program, adults were arrested 30% less
- In the 2nd 12 months following the program, adults were arrested 38% less
- Between $3 and $27 were saved for every $1 invested in the program nationwide
Get Help for Your Drug Addiction: Stay Out of Jail
If you or a loved one has been arrested with a drug-related charge, seeking treatment prior to their trial can help sway the judge to be more lenient. Seeking treatment shows a level of initiative and dedication to recovery. Ultimately the goal of drug courts is to help keep people out of jail and get people treatment. Get help from one of the best drug rehab centers in Florida. Contact Level Up Lake Worth today and learn about our alternative drug treament therapies!