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How drug court can benefit you and your community

If you live in Texas and are facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may have fears about having to spend time behind bars. Depending on the circumstances of your crime and whether you have an existing criminal record, among other considerations, you may have an option available to you as an alternative to serving jail time.

Though not yet available everywhere, drug courts are supervised programs that seek to keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison by instead having them undergo treatment, drug testing and regular appearances before a judge. Drug courts are also largely effective, due at least in part to the fact that they essentially force compliance, because many offenders are so afraid of the alternative. In addition to helping force you to beat your drug addiction, drug courts:

Cost less than housing you in prison

By participating in drug court, you can save your community considerable money. How? Research shows that communities save between $3,000 and $13,000 for every offender who goes to drug court, as opposed to jail. The savings come from reduced prison costs and reduced victimization, among other areas. In criminal justice-related costs alone, your community typically saves up to $3.36 for every dollar it invests in drug court.

Can help you reunite with your family

If you have a spouse or children who are suffering because of your drug addiction, your participation in drug court may have in hand in helping you reunite with them. As a parent, you are twice as likely as nonparents to successfully complete drug court. Furthermore, your children are far less likely to spend an extended period in the care of someone else, such as a foster parent, because of your participation in the program.

Have positive, lasting effects on crime

Your participation in drug court can also benefit your entire community by having a positive impact on crime rates. Research indicates that the effects of drug court are substantial enough to reduce crime for, at minimum, three years, and in many cases, more than 14 years.

If you are facing a Texas drug charge, you may want to find out if drug court is an option for you.

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