KANKAKEE COUNTY DRUG COURT
WHAT IS DRUG COURT?
Drug Court is a court monitored program for drug treatment that can allow an individual to obtain a dismissal of the drug charge(s) upon successful graduation. The program typically takes 12-18 months and requires each individual to abstain from alcohol & drug use, attend all court appearances, attend treatment sessions, outside meetings & meet with a probation case manager.
The goal of drug court is to be a problem-solving court that takes a public health approach using a specialized model in which the judiciary, prosecution, defense, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service, and treatment communities work together to help addicted offenders into long-term recovery. In addition to assisting the addict in his or her recovery efforts, drug court reduces correctional costs, protects community safety and improves public welfare.
DO DRUG COURTS WORK?
Yes. Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse shows that:
Drug courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision of the drug-using offender than other forms of community supervision.
Drug use and criminal behavior are substantially reduced while clients are participating in drug court programs.
Criminal behavior is lower after program participation, especially for drug court graduates.
Drug Courts generate cost savings, at least in the short term, from reduced incarceration, reduced criminality and lower criminal justice system costs.
Drug Courts have been successful in bridging the gap between the court and the treatment and public health systems and in spurring greater cooperation among the various agencies and personnel within the criminal justice system, as well as between the criminal justice system and the community.
In an evaluation of the effectiveness of drug courts as compared to traditional judicial procedures, the Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project found that the drug court model yielded a significant decrease in recidivism. Courts that use conviction and incarceration approaches reported a recidivism rate of 45 percent, while Drug Courts reported an average recidivism rate of 5 to 28 percent.
The savings offered by Drug Courts is substantial. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that Drug Courts yield a savings of $21,000 annually when the average cost per participant is $2000 and the cost of incarceration is $23,000.